By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff Wednesday adjudged Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade as the best performing Governor in the party following his exploits in governance.
This is the second time Sheriff is visiting Ayade with reports suggesting he was snubbed in his earlier visit in 2016.
“If I am asked who is the number one Governor (sic), I will say Ben Ayade” Sheriff said when he led a delegation of the party’s leadership on a courtesy visit to Ayade in his office in Calabar, the Cross River capital.
Sheriff while making reference to Vanguard’s awarding Ayade as best governor, said his approach to governance is been applauded by Cross Riverians and in extension, Nigerians residing within and outside the country and commended him or appointing a Hausa man (Musa Maigoro from Kano state) as his Special Adviser on non indigenes affairs. This, Sheriff said has pleased the Hausas across the country.
“You have worked and your people have attested to that. Nigerians outside your state have also attested to that.
“Vanguard is a first generation newspaper and if it gives you an award, you will know that it is an award purely on merit. Therefore, I am very proud that our digital governor is not only digital but number one governor in terms of performance.”
On the appointment of Maigoro, He said that; “The whole of the Hausa community in Nigeria will know and hear that in Cross River, the governor appointed a Hausa man as Special Adviser on Non-indigenes Affairs. We want to thank you on behalf of the people. I am happy and the party is happy too, hoping that other states will emulate as only this will bring unity among the ethnic divides in the country.”
Sheriff, who described his visit as a peace mission said he had earlier paid similar visits to Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi states prior to his coming to Cross River, advised Ayade to remain steadfast in order for him to secure a second term ticket easily.
“I want to encourage you to continue to do more for the people of Cross River. For in so doing, 2019 will be an easy ride for you. The party will be with you and there will be no challenge and no vacancy in Cross River State,” Sheriff said.
Ayade in his remarks commended Sheriff’s efforts towards enthroning peace in the PDP currently rocked by leadership crisis and maintained that peace within party frameworks will translate to peace in Nigeria which he said is a prerequisite for growth.
However, he decried a situation where there is no difference in the ideology between the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and called on politicians to allow peace reign as the citizenry must come first.
“There is indeed, no ideological difference whether you are in PDP, APC or belong to one faction or the other. If truly you put people above your person, you must allow peace to reign. You must recognize that there is a process and procedure, you must recognize that the challenges of the society has created in itself a structure that allows you to resolve conflict and that is why there is law,” Ayade said.
Sheriff’s visit also comes days after the Ahmed Markarfi led caretaker committee visited Ayade and commended his approach to Governance. It also comes 5 weeks after Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose led a high level lobbying team to Ayade as the PDP Governors seek an end to the leadership crisis rocking the party.
It will be recalled that the Cross River PDP Chairman, Edim Inok, under Ayade’s directives, had proclaimed loyalty to the Sheriff faction, a few hours after the publicity secretary had said the state was loyal to the Markarfi faction.