BASIN AUTHORITY WORKERS PROTEST IN CALABAR
A n alleged move by the minister of water resources to appoint a new managing director for the Cross River State Basin Development Authority has sparked off crisis in Calabar, as members of staff of the ministry are currently up in arms to protest the alleged attempt to zone the position out of the state.
Daily Sun reports that the Basin Development Authority workers, who were mostly natives of Cross River State, had staged a demonstration at the state headquarters of the organization, agitating for a native of the state to succeed Mr. Simeon Ude, an engineer who would soon retire.
At the headquarters of the Basin Authority covering Akwa Ibom, Cross River, and River states, it was gathered that Ude would soon vacate the seat, as he was said to have attained the age of retirement.
Although the out-going managing director was said to be a native of the state, the placards carrying workers maintained that it was still the turn of Cross River to produce the next managing director, based on the zoning arrangement that had existed in the organization that each of the three states, under the Calabar Basin Authority, was entitled to take two tenures of four years each.
The workers who barricaded the Basin Authority complex in Calabar, urged the minister to urgently wade in the matter, as they may take the laws into their hands to ensure that justice was done.
Displaying their placards, the group led by one Mr. Emmanuel Edet urged the minister and management of the Cross River Basin Development Authority to respect the rights and privileges of the state, since each state within the region was said to have had its complete tenure of eight years.
Mr. Essiet Nkpotu who addressed the crowd, said it was sad that there was a plot by some influential persons in the organization to appoint somebody from Akwa State to succeed the out going managing director.
The people alleged that some lawmakers in the National Assembly from Akwa Ibom State, who were accused of using their positions to shortchanged Cross River State supported the plot.
Daily Sun gathered that there was no casualty recorded as armed policemen, led by the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Federal Housing Police Station, Calabar promptly came to the scene to maintained law and order.
When contacted, Ude, the out-going managing director described the protest as baseless, saying the minister had not officially written to the management of the Calabar Basin Development Authority concerning the appointment of a new managing director for the area.
'They have already written to the minister expressing their grievances, so they should be patient and let the matter be resolved through legal means, and not to resort to any unlawful act,' he said.