By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
A support group, the Grass Roots Alliance for Ayade on Wednesday in Calabar, donated a multi-million Naira edifice to the campaign organisation of Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade with a view to ensure smooth operations for his reelection.
The Director General of the group, Engineer Nsa Ekpenyong while handing over the campaign office said that youths in the State had come together and having appraised the “practical achievements” of Governor Ayade, decided to come together in “synergy and likeness of mind” to ensure that he wins his reelection bid.
Nsa said that everyone was gathered, “to say that come the next election to say that we need his Excellency to continue with his good works. That is the reason why we are here today to tell His Excellency that we love you and to also inspire you to continue the works you have done.”
The State chairman of the PDP, Mr. Edim Inok in his remarks said that the Governor was only reaping from the fruit he had sown by given opportunity to the youths to be part of his governance team even as he called for all to intensify effort towards the campaign both morally and financially.
Edim who said the party expects free and fair polls however charged the party faithful that; “Don’t allow anybody to intimidate you. Don’t allow any thug, we will return fire for fire.
“In as much as we expect credible elections, very free, nobody will rig in our polling units. We will ensure that anybody that wants to rig, we will not accept that.”
In his remarks, Governor Ayade extolled the virtues of the donor and sued for detribalised sentiments and analysis in politics and governance as a panacea for the myriad of economic challenges the State faces.
He noted that Engineer Asuquo took the decision to support him because, “he comes from the background of hard work and business, he understands, he sees my dreams. He knows where I am taking Cross River to and that is why I have decided to honor him to come here to say look, ordinarily he is from Odukpani and the factional APC deputy Governorship candidate is from Odukpani; this young man has shown that Cross River State has risen above ethnicity. He has risen above issues of phenotype, genotype, issues of all kinds of primordial relationship and focused on our articulated future of the State. He is the one we are supposed to celebrate today.”
On his plans for the State, Ayade averred that: “Cross Riverians, we have dance in the streets,we have done rural transformation, we hav done tourism. Tourism and rural transformation are very good for our State but the post restructured Nigeria means that each State will depend on itself for survival.
“In the face of a restructured Nigeria, how will Cross River State depend on itself? Ayade is seeing tomorrow and is saying, yes it is good to dance, it is good to do tourism, but you need to have an industry, you need to have an income to be able to do tourism. You cannot take your core money and put into things that do not return money, that is why Ayade came with an investment thinking.
“Because I come from a business background, I know that Cross River State as a maritime State, as a littoral boundary State, as a State that has over 120 kilometers of Atlantic coastline will definitely have business to do with maritime and we have no business with poverty.”
Reiterating his commitment towards industrializing the State, Governor Ayade also called for Cross Riverians to vote according to their conscience.
“Cross Riverians, the forthcoming elections is not an election, it is about Cross River State, it is about the growth and prosperity of Cross River State. It is not about PDP or APC, it is about the prosperity of Cross River State. So, once you remember about Cross River State, you remember Engineer Asuquo, then you remember about the importance of the industrialization of Cross River State,” the Governor said.
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