By Ogar Monday
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has confirmed his intention to run for a second term in office in the 2019 general elections as well as hand over to a successor from the southern senatorial district in 2023.
Mr. Ayade has been endorsed by different groups since February 2018 and in his remarks in each occasion, declined declaring his acceptance of the endorsement as well as declaring his intention to run again.
But, earlier this week, Mr. Ayade while addressing a crowd of supporters from the seven local government areas that make up the senatorial district led by his aide, Mr. Orok Duke said that he has enjoyed the support of the zone and will reciprocate that in 2023.
“The turn of the south is 2023 and as Governor I will say it in the public, I will stand with the people of the south just the way they stood with me in 2015, just the way they are standing with me in 2019, I will stand with the people of the south in 2023.
“I have decided to meet with you and in 2023 we will seat down and agree on someone in this crowd and agree that this is who we want to be our next governor,” Ayade said.
“The implication of that statement is that despite philosophical statements that he does not care what happens at the gubernatorial polls in 2019, Mr. Ayade really cares and has just confirmed that he will be gunning for a second term as well as even win,” CrossRiverWatch political correspondent, Ushang Ewa analysed.
And, Mr. Ayade stressed his decision as he expressed satisfaction with the position of the senatorial district.
He averred that: “For us in Cross River, and for the people of the south in particular because right from the beginning of my campaign the people of the south have shown me so much love and as Governor I am enjoying the love even in office.
“It is very rare for you to praise a Governor while on seat. I have no doubt about the south.
“It is even in the south that I hear they are telling everybody, stay away, we don’t want to hear anybody from the south; your turn is 2023 and that time Ayade will be on this side with you because what is fair is fair.”
No fewer than three people from Mr. Ayade’s local government area have declared for the state’s Chief Executive position on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
Mr. Ayade is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party and there are rumors that he nay be up against his ally, Emmanuel Ibeshi who is also from Obudu.
However, Mr. Ayade characteristically disclosed the challenges facing his administration and maintained that he has been using “intellectual money” to finance projects and pay salaries since the revenue and allocation accruing to the state are not enough.
He stated that: “Gone are those days when people use to rely on allocation from Abuja, because you don’t have enough allocation you cannot pay salaries, you cannot do project, but today Ayade has brought a new theory called intellectual money.”
Earlier, Mr. Duke who is the Chairman, Cross River State Sports Commission said they were in the government house to recommit themselves to the “Ayade project” and thank him for a job well done.
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