Reports by some online news platforms that militants invaded the Cross River State Governor’s Office and held the deputy governor, Ivara Esu, hostage are untrue, the governor’s spokesman has said.
He said the protest was a peaceful one by ex-militants over their three months unpaid allowances by the federal government.
Christian Ita, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ben Ayade, described the reports as a “regrettable” sensationalism that was misleading and a sad demonstration of ethical bankruptcy.
“The ex-militants were not armed and so could not have invaded the government house. Rather, they were very civil in their conduct as they sought audience with the officials of the state government whom they hoped would take their message to Abuja,” the statement said.
Ita said that the ex-militants dispersed after they were attended to and wondered how that could be described as an invasion. On the purported claim that the deputy governor was held hostage, the spokesman said, “No such thing happened.”
Some news reports had claimed on Saturday that the militants were from the ‘Bakassi Volunteer Force’ and were protesting the abandonment of Bakassi returnees.