Cross River State government has in a bid to ease the mobility of the state council chairmen and their deputies, presented 54 Sports Utility Vehicles to each.

Naijaparry News understands that the vehicles were presented by the Governor Ben Ayade government to the political leaders from the 18 Local Government Areas in the state.

The 54 SUVs were presented in the following order: 18 Ford Edge to the Local Government Chairmen, 18 Ford Escape to the Vice-Chairmen and 18 Ford Ecosport to the leaders of Council, Naija News learnt.

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Speaking at the event which was held at the Governor’s office in Diamond Hill, Calabar, Governor Ayade who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, admonished the officials to wisely make good use of the newly purchase vehicles.

“It’s not about giving cars; what is happening is important at this time we are now. With zero allocation, COVID-19 and the economic crisis, if we were to rely on federal allocation even salaries will not be paid. The governor is prudent in managing our resources. If this was not the case, the cars will not be provided,” said Ayade.

Giving an explanation on how the cars were secured, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Hon. Stella Oreme-Odey Ekpo said, “The cars are not free gifts, they were purchased through the JAAC Accounts and going by the NFIU regulations, they were procured by the chairmen themselves and the funds came through their individual local government accounts. The governor kept funds for them even before they came in and that’s why we have been able to purchase the cars. it’s their entitlement because it has always been a practice that the chairmen of council, considering the exigencies of their office, deserve mobility.”

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On his part, speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Chairman of Akpabuyo council, Emmanuel Offiong Bassey, commended Governor Ayade for seeing it fit to provide mobility for the council chairmen.

Bassey on behalf of the council chairmen assured the state government that the vehicles would be used for the purposes for which they were bought.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal on Friday overturned a ruling which nullified the election of Douye Diri as governor of Bayelsa State.

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