Officials of the Calabar Urban Development Authority (CUDA) have disclosed that Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State will pay the elderly women who sweep urban streets in the State on or before 29 May 2023, when he will hand over power to Prince Bassey Otu.

A few days ago, the women, numbering over 100, blocked and littered Ayade’s office in Calabar with waste, protesting that they were owed four months’ stipend of N5,000 and N10,000 each.

Owing to media onslaughts over the issue, CUDA invited the women and paid them only one month each, warning that the outstanding would only be paid if they returned to work and impressed Ayade.


One of the women, a mother of five, who pleaded anonymity, said, “We were strongly warned to sweep and keep the city of Calabar clean to help convince the governor to release the remaining balance.

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“This one month they are paying us out of outstanding four months is grossly inadequate to cater for our needs. Many of us have borrowed to survive. Our creditors are all on our necks to refund.”

The women, however, agreed to return to work but said they would not be tricked anymore and would not hesitate to stage another peaceful demonstration if the need arose.

A close associate of the governor who supervises the street sweepers, Eno Edem, confirmed that they have paid the women one month stipend only.


She refused to speak further, warning the elderly women not to talk to journalists.

The women were made to queue under the hot sun before receiving the stipend.