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Cross River APC Chieftain Frowns At Ugba Morphy Of LP’s Rejection Of Salaries As Appointee of Governor Otu

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…Says Morphy’s Position is Highly Misleading and Does Not Sit Well With State Party Members

…Insists Salaries Not Only Perks Office for Appointees

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, Comrade Obi Offiong Ojage, has frowned at a statement credited to High Chief Ray Ugba Morphy, an appointee of Governor Prince Bassey Otu of the state, who claimed that he will not be receiving salaries throughout the duration of his appointment as Special Adviser (SA) on Skill Acquisition, insisting that salaries are not the only perks of office for appointees.

In a chat with our correspondent, he noted that a situation where the appointee chose the media to speak on his appointment is “misleading” to the public and “does not sit well” with party members who worked to ensure the victory of Governor Otu, especially in the appointee’s constituency.

Obi Ojage, a one-time member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Radio Cooperation of Nigeria (FRCN), Abuja, expressed surprise at “why Chief Ugba Morphy who left the APC last year to join the Labour Party had to go to the press to announce to the public that he will not be collecting salary on the recent appointments released by the State Governor, Prince Bassey Otu of the All Progressives Congress where his name appeared as one of the 38 persons appointed as Special Advisers even when he is no a member of the party and did not take part in the local elections that brought Governor Otu to power.”

He said “Morphy who may have lobbied or been recommended for the appointment could still have decided to play an advisory role to the government in this case if he so deems without occupying an office either as his personal friend or a friend to the government.

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“Some politicians do that, especially when they’re financially comfortable in their private concerns and do not want to be enmeshed with the controversies associated with holding public office as a political favour.”

High Chief Ray Ugba Morphy
Chief Morphy

Comrade Ojage, a communication and media guru, recalled that “a few years back in the same boisterous manner, Chief Morphy had equally proceeded to the media to announce his refusal to take the appointment generously given to him by former Governor Ben Ayade to serve as his Special Assistant and openly thanked the Governor for finding him worthy to be so appointed.”

The APC chieftain who was very vocal and prolific in his campaign for Governor Otu during the electioneering process in the state argued that “why Morphy may have accepted the appointment this time by Governor Otu is, perhaps, because the Governor raised the stakes from the Special Assistant position Ben Ayade offered him while he was still in the APC to a Special Adviser now that he is no more a member of our party.

Accordingly to Comrade Ojage, “the action of Prince Otu, indeed, was commendable, however, political appointments to serve in any capacity whether as a reward or on merit are all to do two things namely, to better the person’s life economically depending on the office involved, and, secondly, to have him render to the public the services required of him on the strength of his competences.”

He then observed that “for someone who had long left the party, his appointment is seen by a member of the APC as a special favour being rendered to him by the Governor.”

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Comrade Ojage then acknowledged however that “the appointment of Special Assistants and Advisers is the preserve and right of the Governor to give whoever he thinks would advise him better.

“Nevertheless, the crisis arises in the situation where a lot more persons who are members of the APC, who may have worked for the successes, certainly need the amount being given as salary or emolument which is now been rejected by a non-party man that would’ve been admiringly helpful to those of the party who are equally qualified from the same constituency as Morphy, and highly in need of it.”

He then noted that “the truth is the whole matter is simply a gimmick. A situation where the one who now goes to the public as a politician to reject the salary attached to an office highly sought after by those party members who treasure having the pay packet deservedly as what helps them improve their lives and finances through the next four years of the term of the administration are perplexed why such an office should be given to one who has enough and more so a non-party member who is not part of the team that worked to bring the party to power.

Comrade Obi Ojage
Comrade Ojage

“His words frankly demonstrated that he has enough and does not need the salary but still turning around to want to retain the office is unsportsmanlike and highly misleading.

“That would be a misguiding of the entire system and does not make sense, rather it would provoke silent anger by invoking emotion and discontent on the part of those members of the party who would feel shortchanged and taken for granted to have been left out of the appointment after being part of the driving force behind the party’s victory.”

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Insisting that there are other advantages or some other extras, beyond salaries, that are attached to an office, the astute writer and public commentator further said that “salaries are not the only package enjoyed by the office of the Special Advisers; there are in some cases impress given to run the office and so on, therefore singling that (salary) out is uncalled for in this circumstance except there are more to it than issues around the earnings.

He added that “in concerns like this are persons who use the press to showcase intimidating portraiture as one who is coming to offer himself free of charge with good intentions only to turn around soon after to mount pressure on the Governor as politicians do with a demand to give them a special vehicle worth 60 million naira and above for the office.”

And thereafter, he said, “they would commence another pressure with fantabulous proposals on paper over projects to execute with heavy sums for approval running into billions of naira which might end up in the pockets of appointees and nothing will happen or the office is been used to further other interests other than the one for which he earned the appointment.”

Comrade Obi Ojage concluded by saying that “those are the issues in contention and the potential fears now being expressed by party members in quietude who feel short-changed and who nurse the fear that with the utterances and public show displayed by Murphy to mislead the public, these are some of the things they expect to happen.”

Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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