Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade is now facing serious heat from across the world as a result of his claim that once people wear the face mask, they no longer need to observe the social distancing rules.
Apart from his comments that have attracted condemnations, the governor is also facing attacks from his home state, as the state chapter of the APC has faulted his decision to deduct N50 million from the account of local governments in the state for the COVID-19 fight.
Apart from the Arise TV discussion programme where Ayade was roundly criticised for his comments on mask wearing, vis-a- vis the social distancing rules, he has been pilloried on social media for going against the position of WHO on preventive measures against COVID-19 infections.
Most of those who condemned him also mocked him for assuming the position of medical experts. Some of them mocked him for his stance and high claims to being a scientist who knew about virus attacks.
This is even as the APC is not happy with the governor for the resolve to tamper with local government funds for the COVID-19 project.
Spokesman of the party in the state, Mr Bassey Ita said in a statement on Friday that the party was “constrained to react regarding a recent publication by the State House of Assembly which granted the request of the State Government for a deduction of N50 million from Local Government Funds to continue the fight against Coronavirus in the state.
“The Legislature at plenary yesterday(Thursday) had approved the requested which implied that Council funds will be deducted by the State Governor for the fight against the dreaded virus.The All Progressives Congress is irked by this position of the State Government to tamper with council funds as it is not in the best interest of the masses.
“Our consideration on this is that the Covid-19 outbreak has further exposed the false impression always given by the PDP led government of Sen. Ben Ayade about the financial strength of the state as expressed in its budgetary provisions.
“It is ridiculous that with whooping provisions in the previous and recent budgets for healthcare in the he state,the government is still going cap in hand to councils for funds to tackle the Covid-19 epidemic.The APC faults the State Government’s request of the said funds as the State Government’s Health Sector budget is enough to take care of such emergencies.
“The implication of this development is that some hawks within the PDP led government are only interested in siphoning and hijacking council funds for their selfish gains. The State House of Assembly has in the light of this reality demonstrated that it is a rubber stamp of the State Governor and does not truly represent the interest of the masses.
“The passage or endorsement of such an unnecessary request by implication is to the effect that local government administration will continue to suffer under the jackboot of the state government even as a separate arm of government. It means also that the independent or autonomy status projected of the local governments by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is a farce altogether.”