By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent Follow @NaijaJonathan
The former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in Cross River State, Ntufam John Achort Okon has said that the people of Akamkpa and Biase constituency want to retain the position of deputy governor at the polls in 2019.
Mr. Okon’s statement follows speculations that the incumbent Deputy Governor in the state, Professor Ivara Esu may be dropped by his principal, Senator Ben Ayade as the race to the 2019 general elections heats up.
He made this position known, Thursday in Akamkpa during a town hall meeting by members of the People’s Democratic Party in both local government areas to endorse Mr. Ayade’s second term bid.
Mr. Okon who was the chairman of the occasion in his remarks said that the honor done to the constituency was repaid in good faith as they turned out en masse to vote for the PDP and will do same.
He said that: “Let me thank his excellency for this because our own son; he has shown compassion, he has shown respect. Like a senior brother, he takes him everywhere.
“This is a deputy governor that when he travels he leaves all the power to; he goes to council of state, national economic council. There is nowhere Ayade has not sent his deputy. Their relationship is one of the best in this country. That is why we are very thankful to him for not only nominating our son but also been able to work with him without conflict and everything is going smoothly, I don’t know any state that has this kind of relationship.
“And, that is why this endorsement is not about Professor Ayade which wrote know is carry go. We are also saying that our son has done well and we want this team to continue in 2019. We are not negotiating this with any other position. We are not saying anybody for anything, we are saying in Akamkpa and Biase, we have this one position, we are okay because we know what it means to have a deputy governor and our pride is that, he is there.”
Commending Ayade for choosing Mr. Esu as his running mate in 2015, Okon averred that: “By nominating our son as running mate in the past election and by God’s grace, they saw the hand of Akamkpa people and Biase people in that election because we came out voting because for that singular act of giving our son, making us have a feel in Cross River State especially in the southern senatorial district of the state.
“It was because of that we came massively. Nobody can joke about it because by our own strength we saved PDP from losing elections to the APC or Labor party.
“It was our clout that pulled Senator Gershom Passed to seat otherwise he lost! And that is the power of Biase and Akamkpa.
“Today, because of Ayade, we are recognized as seven alive and no longer with five alive and two greats.”
He lauded the development strides made by the Ayade’s administration and got the audience giggling when he said the Governor was dreaming for Cross Riverians.
He averred that: “Ayade is a dreamer. Some of us who have been privileged to go to Dubai, to go to Singapore, to Kuala Lumpur; those cities were born by dreams. They had no resources, it is because they dreamed and Ayade has big dreams. He is dreaming big for us.
“The Deep Seaport, the Superhighway, we may think it is a joke but it is a dream he is doing and it will come to pass and you can see what will happen if God give him the time. Those areas we are talking about are real, we may not see it now but when they come to fruition they will come to see what you are doing.”
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