Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, said on Monday that the Publisher of the CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo, is being detained for allegedly plotting to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration through the RevolutionNow Movement.
He said the journalist’s problem was with the Federal Government and not the state government.
Jalingo was arraigned by the Department of State Service (DSS) on August 30, 2019 over alleged disturbance of public peace and treason after criticizing Governor Ayade on social media.
The journalist led the RevolutionNow Protest in Cross River State.
Ayade, who spoke with with State House correspondents after meeting behind closed -doors with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, dismissed the insinuation that he was behind Jalingo’s travail, saying the journalist is his brother from the same Obudu in Cross River, and helped fund the start-up of the online publication.
He said: “The case is between Agba Jalingo and the federal government of Nigeria. Please don’t get it wrong, Agba Jalingo is not just from Cross River State, he is not just from Obudu, where I also come from, he is my brother.
“On his Facebook page, he sent pictures where he was being tear-gassed at the revolution march in Lagos. His own pictures, posted by himself and when Omoyele 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.
“In court, it is federal government versus Agba Jalingo, not Cross River State. The same Agba Jalingo who is in jail, I send him money. I called my Chief Press Secretary and others and said that journalists will not understand that Agba Jalingo is the state chairman of Sowore’s party, from the time he moved into politics, he became a politician.
“You are seeing him as a journalist, but he is not. He is the chairman of Sowore’s party (African Alliance) in Cross River State, so he is a politician. He has a primary calling, which is journalism. Please ask Agba Jalingo, that CrossRiverWatch, the first person to give him money to set up the office was myself, his official vehicle, it was me that gave him.
“I don’t have to list all of these. He knows that I have funded and supported him, but journalism stops where blackmail becomes part of your strategy.”
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