Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade has denied being responsible for the persecution of detained publisher of Cross River Watch, Agba Jalingo.
Speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, he said it was the federal government that Jalingo has a case with.
He said as a governor, he had funded the activities of the journalist until the issue of blackmail crept it.
According to him, Jalingo was the state chairman of the political party founded by Omoyele Sowore, who himself was detained over his #RevolutionNow movement.
He accused him of advocating a revolution in the country.
Governor Ayade stated: “The case is between Agba Jalingo and the federal government of Nigeria. On his Facebook page, he posted an ambitious programme. Please don’t get it wrong, Agba Jalingo is not just from Cross River State, he’s is from Obudu, where I also come from, he’s my brother
“On his Facebook page, he sent pictures where he was being teargassed at the revolution march in Lagos. His own pictures, posted by himself and when Sowore was being arrested, he went back to his Facebook to post that the revolution has just started, ‘we will continue this battle until revolution works’. He admitted this in Court.
“In court, it is Federal Government versus Agba Jalingo, not Cross River State. The same Agba Jalingo who is in jail, I send him money. I called my Chief Press Secretary and others and said that journalists will not understand that Agba Jalingo is the State Chairman of Sowore’s party. From the time he moved into politics, he became a politician.
“You are seeing him as a journalist, but he’s not. He’s the chairman of Sowore’s party in Cross River State. So, he’s a politician. He has a primary calling, which is journalism. Please ask Agba Jalingo, that Cross River Watch, the first person to give him money to set up the office was me. His official vehicle, it was me. I don’t have to list all of these. He knows that I have funded and supported him, but journalism stops where blackmail becomes part of your strategy.
“Today, you need something, then Ayade is a good man and you start writing all the good things, but if I take my phone and show you our Whatsapp communication, you will call me a godly man.
Be a part of Grassroot Reporters Team. Report latest happenings around you. Send in your reports, adverts to WhatsApp: +2347033996028 or email: email@example.com