By Jonathan Ugbal and Patrick Abang
Nigeria’s Niger Delta affairs minister, Usani Usani has declared his intention to run for the position of the governor of Cross River State in the 2019 general election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) putting an end to speculations about his ambition.
Addressing supporters in Calabar, the State’s capital, Usani said that he had the capacity needed to lead and pledged to be prudent in the management of the state’s resources.
“In me there is a personification of performance and competence. This, I have demonstrated as commissioner in this state,” Usani said, adding that: “All the ministries I managed, nobody has had one thing to point out as a mis-performance or short of adequacy of performance.”
On resources management, Usani who promised to establish viable infrastructure and restore the heritage for which the state is known for nationally and globally, averred that: “I have the experience, contentment, tenacity to change the face of Cross River State within four years in office.
“I have come to declare to you my readiness emotionally and psychologically to contest for the office of governor of this state after two attempts in 2003 and 2012.
“My simple appeal to you is to seek your support. I promise you good resource management, promotion of enterprise inertia and (a) peaceful society, for all residents of Cross River State.”
Usani, a former state chairman of the APC, was also a commissioner for youth and sports, Information and later commissioner for agriculture and water resources which spanned up to 1999.
He was appointed minister by Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari in late 2015.
Several speakers at the declaration rally held at the management development institute in Calabar hailed Usani’s character.
A former health minister, Emmanuel Nsan who said Usani’s declaration marked a new dawn in town, posited that the state needs a man with vision and integrity who will defend the needy.
Also, a senatorial aspirant, Senator Bassey Otu and party stalwart, Mr. Sam Bassey described the minister as a man of honesty and impeccable character. They both said the state need the services of the minister to restore back what has been lost over the years.
Earlier, the director general of his campaign, Ekpeyong Ene Cobham had described the minister as, “a man of distinctive character, humble to a fault, intellectually endowed, politically mechanic, a character builder which the state is proud to be associated with.
“Usani understands Cross River problems and the solution to them having been tested to restore the lost glory of the state.”
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