By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Nigeria’s Senate President and presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party, Bukola Saraki has hailed the economic vision of Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade pointing out that his ideas are what the country needs at the moment.
Mr. Saraki gave the commendation Wednesday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital when he visited to canvass support for his presidential ambition ahead of the October 5th and 6th presidential convention of the PDP.
“You have a governor who said I want to build a deep seaport, and to show his thinking, he maintained that after the port, I have to evacuate the items through a superhighway, that is a big idea and that is what this country requires and desires. I believe we need a government that supports business and that interacts with the private sector as government cannot do all alone,” Saraki said.
He added that: “There is a new world order, it requires a president that is mobile, digital, and with the capacity that can plan for his people and has a destination that the people seek. Everybody is waiting for when all these will come to Nigeria, it has finally come at this time.”
He intimated that his administration will create an enabling environment for investors and averred that: “The time is over for sentiment as sentiment has not taken us anywhere in leadership. It is time for capacity and abilit, I have the courage, determination and doggedness to beat all these.”
Politics was not far off from his remarks as he said the general elections is not just about voting out the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“It is not just about voting out APC, it is about voting out APC, restructuring and repairing Nigeria,” Saraki said, adding that; “to achieve all these, we need a president that knows what the issues are.”
In his remarks, Mr. Ayade listed some of the challenges bedeviling the state which according to him includes security challenges from Cameroon; not benefitting from the 13 percent derivation; the loss of 76 oil wells and its revenue that is less than the salary of an expanded workforce. He pleaded for a sovereign guarantee to allow direct foreign investment.
An emotional Ayadein his character did not leave out the Bakassi issue as he argued that: “You cannot dislodge and dislocate the people of Bakassi to look as if they are IDPs in their own state and town. You deny them access to the oil wells, you take away all they got.” He also maintained that: “All they ask is to support them build their deep seaport as a means to create an alternative income.”
On Saraki’s submission about the leadership quality that the country needs as well as its economic and political direction, the governor said: “I believe that the Nigeria we see, the Nigeria we look forward to tomorrow, it is the Nigeria that creates opportunity for egalitarian distribution of wealth, creating opportunity for each federating state to have the opportunity to harness its potentials.”
On politics, Mr. Ayade advised the delegates to vote according to their conscience for the very best they want for the nation and make the only choice that will bring prosperity to the state
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