26 August 2019
Nigerians of Cross River indigenisation and residency have reacted and are reacting to the 22nd August 2019 arrest of the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo by officers of the Nigerian Police. Jalingo was abducted in gestapo style in his Lagos residence and driven to Calabar.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Christian Ita, his arrest is arrest is not unconnected to the #RevolutionIsNow protest inspired by AAC presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections and political activist, Omoyele Sowore.
Opinions are that the state governor, Sir Ben Ayade has a hand in Jalingo's arrest especially considering the publication about the Cross River State Microfinance Bank where Jalingo has alleged that the N500, 000, 000 has been syphoned out of the bank. The police stated this penultimate point in their letter of invitation to him.
See what Nigerians are actually saying.
For Simon Utsu 'I've stayed away from Ayade vs Agba Jalingo Wrestlemania all throughout its duration but at this juncture, lemme tchuk my small mouth. I understand that the publisher of Cross River Watch & the state chairman of the AAC was arrested by men of the Nigeria police an hour ago at his Lagos residence on the orders of Governor Ayade. The plan is to bundle him to Calabar early tomorrow morning to face charges that aren't very clear.
The Cross River state governor should not fall into the hands of wrong advisors- he shouldn't allow executive power intoxicate him. Power like they say is transient- just yesterday we read in the news about how AMCON seized one of his predecessors, Donald Duke's Ikoyi, Lagos apartment over a 500 million Naira debt… The same Donald Duke that Ayade couldn't even stand up to politically or look in the face some ten years ago, is supposedly struggling with debt today. Tomorrow is very pregnant… Governor Ayade should reconsider his position with alacrity and allow Agba go back to his family today.'
For Columba Okwashi it is 'If Agba Jalingo have (sic) some questions to answer, why not, because no one has the monopoly of writing what he means to without substantial evidences. However he needs not worry if he he can defend all what he has been writing about beyond reasonable doubt. Ayade on his part should know that he would not be there always, because a time will came when he would certainly give account of his stewardship either for good or for bad, at least he is seeing what is happening with past office holders after the expiration of their immunity.'
Anthony Duke has observed that 'He had communicated to the police on his available date and promised all that he would be present. He had won the heart of many in solidarity as two former Attorney Generals of the state had promised to accompany him. What is the fear of the police or the state government? #FreeJalingoNow
Phillip Onabe Obi said that 'Its shameful and bad for our state. It shows how unaccommodating and unfriendly our government is to critics of her policies. Let those in the corridor of power know that power is transient.' Leye Onikoyi argued that 'When they are in power, they can't see or hear anything.. His tenure will finish won't it.. They are waiting for him…' Ukemeobong Albert Ekong noted that 'Free Agba Jalingo
Where is the place of press freedom? Writers pen last longer than few years in office. I say no to intimidation'.
For Ogar, Akuni Monday, it is 'I had spoken with Agba Jalingo the day before yesterday and he told me he was coming to town on Monday to honor the police invitation but only to read about him being adopted by the police in Lagos. The saddest part of the story is that the police had called him earlier and told him that the meeting had been shifted to September. Why the Police Force that is struggling with public perception and till this day has failed to secure the release of Calabar based OAP Petex will expend that much resource in arresting someone who has been cooperating with them only points to the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob. But I will let the police have this benefit of doubt that they have not earned, I Will go ahead and assume that Jalingo had committed a crime so great that they couldn’t wait till Monday to have him arrested, I will add the assumption that they have concluded their investigations and already have a water-tight case against him, and I will also assume they will charge him to court latest by Monday. Yes? What is loud in all of Jalingo’s travails is the silence of those who got invited to Napoleon’s table through their association with Jalingo, and some of them are leading the onslaught against him. We can only pity their conscience and hope they can still look themselves in the mirror when the man who is beating this drum leave the stage.We have lots of issues wrong with the state but Agba is the one the government wants to deal with.
I pity us!'
Anthony Bissong Attah said that 'Cross River State Civil Society Organization condemn the crude manner Agba Jalingo was arrested in Lagos today. A man that has voluntarily resolved to attend to Police invitation shouldn't be haunted and hounded again for any reason. #Release Agba Jalingo Now!'
Offor Ubangha Offor said 'It's not about the retinue of appointees, nor sycophancy. It's the banality of state power arbitrarily exorcised. Agba and all media activist, overtime are suppressed to the dictate of the political correctness.
Those who advice others, also advise themselves. The police should be professional and not dehumanizing. Due process and peaceful resolution is sacrosanct.'
Whereas Lambert Agama said 'Agba Jalingo on my mind!!! I try not to involve myself with Ayadeism, but sometimes, silence isn't the best strategy. If I advice and admire people who stand up to challenge the status quo or speak up against injustices, then I must do the same without favoritism. Questions Ayade and all his sycophants and cronies need to answer are?
1. What is Ayade afraid of?
2. What is he hiding from the public, and tax payers?
3. Is Ayade towing the path of Buhari, who uses force, intimidation, bullying, criminal arrest to cover up the truth?
You are free to air your opinion, but remember the world will read your response. You know the meaning of "Sycophants", and or "Cronies". While Samuel Agube said 'Listen, if the only sin Jalingo committed was reporting on Ayade's performance as a governor, they should release him and rather take him to court if Ayade feels what was reported about him is malicious. That is how things go in a civilized society and I know Cross River State is a civilized society.'