By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent Follow @NaijaJonathan
Thousands of Cross Riverians in the central senatorial district on Friday rallied behind Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade and donated the sum of NGN20 million for the purchase of his nomination form.
Mr. Ayade enjoyed a gale of endorsements in the southern senatorial district in January and early February of 2018 and following weeks of consultations honored the invitation of the central senatorial district who offered to buy his nomination form with several speakers at the event which held at the Ikom township stadium reeling reasons why Mr. Ayade was been endorsed for a second term in office.
The speaker of the Cross River House of Assembly, Mr. John Gaul Lebo (PDP Abi) said that the current political reality was idealised by former Governor Liyel Imoke in the early 90’s which led to the emergence of Mr. Donald Duke as Governor in 1999, Mr. Imoke in 2007 and Mr. Ben Ayade in 2015.
He said that the central was willing to work with Mr. Ayade as it was very clear that he will return power to the southern senatorial district in 2023 and urged him to continue in his development strides.
The chairman of the occasion and former military governor of Kwara State, Colonel Peter Ogar said that tge achievements of Mr. Ayade was well documented and maintained that the senatorial district will support and stand by him to ensure that he achieves his goal to develop the state.
Federal legislator, Chris Agibe on his part said that: “We therefore without holding back, without a second thought endorse Senator Ben Ayade for a second term.”
He also warned that: “This endorsement must not remain here in this stadium, it must permeate every nook and cranny of central senatorial district.”
Speaking on behalf of state legislators, Mr. Eteng Jones-Williams (PDP, Yakurr 1) said that Mr. Ayade has no other option than to contest as he has made it possible for the voice of the house of assembly to be heard.
He averred that Mr. Ayade owes them the duty of completing the projects he haa commenced.
Meanwhile, the commissioner for education, Mr. Goddy Ettah who spoke on behalf of other commissioners said that the central senatorial district has an order of mandamus compelling Mr. Ayade to contest and disclosed that the district will sponsor the purchase of his nomination form.
The paramount ruler of Ikom local government area said that the echo in the greetings showed that Mr. Ayade Our votes are intact and we believe that what is worth doing is worth doing well
Also, Dr. Pius Tawo in his remarks said that Mr. Ayade was more of a partner to the state and as partners, “together we shall take this state from this stage to the stage of prosperity.
Tawo said that Mr. Ayade who understands development the way it should be had performed in his first term much more than his predecessors did.
He averred that Cross River will be changed for good as his vision for development was very fluid and fits into the short, medium and long term visions of the state.
And, Air Vice Marshall Osim rtd. said that the leadership of the state has been on a linear equation and Mr. Ayade’s second term bid will aid stabilize the polity.
Former commissioner for environment and senatorial candidate, Mr. Sandy Onor said that nothing will fall apart for Mr. Ayade as despite high profile desertions from his political party, the PDP the center still held strong.
“In Etung the opposition will be defeated; in Ikom, they will be worsted; in Boki they will be exterminated; in Obubra they will be decapitated; in Yakurr they will be decimated and in Abi they will be completely rested,” Onor said.
For Barrister Chris Agara, Mr. Ayade has a lot to show and therefore, should be returned.
Moving the motion for the endorsement of Mr. Ayade, the member representing Obubra/Etung federal constituency, Mr. Mike Etaba said that the central has only one choice and that was Ayade. State legislator, Mr. Fred Osim (PDP Ikom 1) seconded the motion.
In his remarks, Mr. Ayade commended the central district for their support and announced the addition of 3000 people to the conditional cash transfer scheme of the state.