Cross River State Governor,Ben Ayade has denied having a hand in the arrest and trial of the publisher of Cross River Watch, Agba Jalingo, that the journalis is prosecuted by the Federal Government.
Ayade accused Jalingo of leaving journalism to meddle into politics as he disclosed that his arrest and trial is connected to Omoyele Sowore’s #RevolutionNow protest.
This was disclosed while Speaking to newsmen after a meeting with President Buhari at the state house in Abuja on Monday January 27.He added that after Jalingo joined the protest, he stopped being seen as a journalist but as someone who is plotting to overthrow President Buhari’s government.
The Governor also blamed the journalist’s activism on youthful exuberance as he expressed desire to see him released. He also claimed that he is working with Jalingo’s lawyer to secure his release.
“In court, it is Federal Government versus Agba Jalingo, not Cross River State. He’s in court for treason, a state does not have the power to try anyone for treason, it’s not me.
“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.
“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.
“Once he started the campaign to overthrow the government of President Buhari, he ceased to be seen from the point of a journalist because he has become the state chairman of a party. ”