Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has finally returned to the state after spending over a month away from his office.
Recall that the governor left Calabar, the state capital for different Eastern and Western countries since February 14, and returned yesterday March 30.
Reacting to his return yesterday, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, John Gaul Lebo, said that the lawmakers were comfortable with the governor’s long absence as long as it did not violate the constitution.
Lebo said normal functions of government were not disrupted as a result of Mr. Ayade’s absence.
He said, “The governor was not out for two months. He was on official outing. If the governor was not communicating with anybody during this period, and if the deputy and commissioners were not aware of his movements, and if salaries were not paid and other functions of government were hindered, we would have invoked section 190 sub 2 of the constitution against him.
“But in this circumstance, we were in touch with him. The assembly was comfortable with his foreign trips. If he was out for too long, the court of public opinion had the moral right to set the standard and agitate…. But he did not violate the constitution.
“The House of Assembly met at an executive session when the Governor was out for 21 days and reviewed relevant sections of the federal constitution and other legal instruments available. It was clear to us that the governor did not violate any part of the constitution. His absence was a moral issue, not the one that requires us to invoke powers of the constitution”.