Thursday, 28 February 2019

Ayade dismisses thumbprinting viral video, calls for police, DSS investigation

Government News Source|28 February 2019 

Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, Wednesday, called on the Inspector General of Police as well as the Director General of the State Security Service to clamp down on those involved in the video showing thumb printing of ballot papers during last Saturday's election.

Ayade who was addressing newsmen shortly after the state security council meeting held in Calabar maintained that the intention of the perpetrators was not only criminal but designed to paint a bad image as well as reduce the credibility of elections in Cross River.

"It is a cooked up video designed to embarrass the state, but God in His infinite mercy has a way of vindicating the innocent," the governor remarked, while calling on the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the State Security Services to narrow down on this fraudulent, well choreographed, amateur display of blind wickedness with an intent to cause the federal government to doubt the credibility of Cross River elections."

Continuing, the governor argued that the planned video was not only politically motivated but intended to hurt his re-election slated for March 9, adding that "that was not natural, I don't believe in that video and I think the public should disregard the video. It is not a video for reference at any point in time. Anybody who makes reference to that video has no details of analytical impression, because if you do, you will realise that there was a setup."

While insisting that no election is perfect, the governor maintained that "it is totally unacceptable for a man to sit inside the privacy of a room and conduct illegal act yet avoiding the camera catching his face and putting a bunch of money beside him while doing an illegal thumbprint."

Ayade, however, insisted that "obviously it is a stage managed video, because you can see that the man who is supposed to be recording from a vintage position secretly capturing people who are committing a crime had the privilege of even zooming to the point of picking a date on a paper and the person arranges those ballot papers, thumbprint and carry out a discussion with a deliberate plan to record and to be heard, so, you can see that it is a cooked up video designed to embarrass the state."

According to Ayade, "the good news is that the security agencies have narrowed down on voice recognition and forensic examination of that video, we now have prime suspects and have identified the house where that happened and have ensured that the security agencies work on that."

He assured Nigerians that those who staged that video will soon be apprehended.

Flanked during the briefing by service commanders in the state, the governor disclosed: "It is a very criminal offence and now that we have an idea of those who are behind it, they must be investigated, they must face the full wrath of the law and once they are found guilty, they must go to jail and that is the only way to vindicate the credibility of our elections and character of the people of Cross River."

On his style of politics, Ayade intimated: "I believe in politics with ethics, I have neither been extreme nor fought an enemy or friend. I believe that when there is a confrontation between morality, ethics and power, let power go. I have never been part of a process that is less than decent. If you don't understand ethical conduct, it will be difficult for you to understand my style of politics," adding: "if you are my enemy, I believe that it is an over plus of kindness and love that can draw you from that extreme enmity to virtue."

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