By Our Correspondent
In what could be described as hurricane Ayade, which has been sweeping across the three senatorial zones of the state, to rally support for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidates, for the April 11, rescheduled general elections, thousands of supporters yesterday were on hand to receive the party campaign train at Akamkpa Local Government Secretariat.
Numbering over six thousand, the council headquarters was literally overwhelmed by hordes of party supporters who had converged to welcome the governorship candidate and his running mate, Senator Ben Ayade and Professor Ivara Esu, the state PDP Chairman, Ntufam John Okon, Cross River State Deputy Governor, Barrister Efiok Cobham and the party’s candidates for the Southern Senatorial Zone led by the Chairman of the Campaign Council, Governor Liyel Imoke.
in its relentless gusto, the crowd chanted “Go and tell them, go and tell them that Jonathan is coming back again”, as a show of support for President Goodluck Jonathan, while lavish feasts were similarly made of Senator Ayade’s candidature as large banners bearing his photographs fluttered sky-high in open solidarity.
The crowd went into frenzy as Ayade gyrated to the trending dance style called ‘Shoki’, when he was officially introduced. Echoes of ‘Carry go, nothing do you’, ‘Ayade, the face of continuity’, rented the air.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, Governor Imoke reminded them to think of their future as politics was all about the future and less about the present, adding that the future belonged to the youths and any wrong decision they make today could adversely affects their future.
According to him, “The future belongs to you the youth. Politics is about the future and less about the present. The future depends on you the youth. I hear stories of guns and cutlasses being purchased for you to use during the elections. This is not good politics and I must tell you that in your generation, elections should be about issues and performance and not personalities.”
Continuing, he said: “In election violence, it is not the politicians that are usually killed. It is the ordinary people. Have you heard of any politician killed during election violence? It is the ordinary people. This is why you must shun any act of thuggery and violence. Those who are buying guns for you are not ready to die themselves. Be wise and shine your eyes. Do not allow your future to be cut short by those pretending to be representing your interest. Come election day, I want to hear about peace and not somebody being carried to the mortuary.”
During the team’s interactive session with the Akamkpa Council of Chiefs, led by the Paramount Ruler, His Royal Majesty, Ntufam Clement Omeye, the governor lauded them for the support given to him during his nearly eight-tenure, particularly the prevailing peace brought about by the chiefs in their kingdom.
Governor Imoke who solicited the support of the chiefs for the incoming government, said the regime which is taking over from him is that of continuity, noting that Ayade’s government will ensure that all ongoing projects initiated by his administration are completed.
Responding, the Paramount Ruler said if there was any party his people were familiar with over the years and consistently voted for, it was PDP, adding that they were not about to embrace any other party for now or in the nearest future.
The monarch assured Ayade that Akamkpa would ensure a hundred percent return for President Jonathan, Senator Ayade and the rest of the candidates in the March and April Presidential and governorship elections respectively.
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