A 25th November 2020 press release signed by Christian Ita the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ben Ayade about a planned medical intervention for ailing former Senate President of Nigeria, Joseph Wayas, by the Government of Cross River state, which has gone viral on Cross River cyberspace, has inspired the condemnation of Nigerians.
According to Cross Riverians, the press release which was supposed to just be an internal memo is an embarrassment to both Dr Wayas, and his family. According to them, governor Ben Ayade did not have any business making the intervention for Dr Wayas by the state a matter of public concern.
According to activist and renowned journalist, Agba Jalingo, ‘This press release is annoying… This is simply an internal memo. Making it a press release defeats the noble intention. If I were Dr. Wayas’ son, I won’t allow Betta Edu into my father’s ward. But I am not his son… Anytime you use government money to assist with someone’s hospital bill, you run to the public as if it’s your money. It’s wrong… Absolutely unnecessary to come tell the whole world you want to pay the hospital bill of a former Senate President.’
Kennedy Nsan argued that ‘This should not be a public document for public consumption, no it should not be. Please do inform your boss, Christian Ita, that this is not meant to be a ‘press release’ for public consumption, but an internal memo that should have emanated from say the SSG, CoS, or any other high ranking government official directing the purported intervention be done to secure the health of the elder statesman, howbeit, quietly. Aside that this could embarrass the family of Dr Wayas, depending on how they view this, this does not speak well of those of you in government and must never repeat itself whatsoever, we must not politicise everything!…’
Popular critic Simon Utsu opined that ‘Should this be for public consumption? What kind of kindergarten governance is this? Governor Ayade plays his local brand of politics with everything! Can you imagine politicizing the health of an elder statesman like the former Senate President? When Wayas was SP, rubbing shoulders with world leaders, Ayade and Frank were still selling pepper in Obudu or wherever. This life be like bicycle. Tomorrow is very pregnant! I honestly can’t believe what I’m seeing. I need to unsee.’
For Akabom Okon, it is ‘Nothing surprises me any longer but rather I tend to catch fun over every eyes sore of this government. Certain documents that supposed to be discreet is now window shopped for public consumption but with what intend? Very embarrassing!’
Anthony Duke with close affinity with the Social Democratic Party, SDP observed that ‘What would Dr. Betta Edu be responsible for when she is out there in the UK? I am ashamed of my state and the kind of release that comes from the governor’s aides. The media team actually needs an orientation but pride is their basic problem. You mean the commissioner would travel to the UK at taxpayers expense in the guise of going to observe the attention given to one of his own when there is a lot of medical practitioners from the state practising out there. Would it be out of place if the government rather reaches out to a team of licenced practitioners out there to do the needful knowing that the Commissioner’s presence there is useless, I repeat useless.
‘What is the state of our health institutions back at home? What is the level of attention accorded it? I had chosen to observe this government going forward till 2023 when hope would enable us say goodbye to her rascality but it seems every new day comes with a new menace…’
More importantly, the question has been asked: how will Dr Betta Edu the Commissioner for Health oversee ailing Wayas treatment in London seeing she does not have the license to practice in the United Kingdom?