By Efa Sunday: Government House Correspondent
Ahead of Saturday’s gubernatorial election, Cross River State Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade’s support base received a boost with his endorsement on Tuesday by the leaderships of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Labour Party (LP) in the State.
The two parties said their adoption of the Governor is predicated on his record in office in the last three and a half years.
The Chapter Chairmen of the two opposition parties from the 18 Council Areas in the State pledged to join forces with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to deliver him for a second term.
Chairman of SDP, Clement Ene told Governor Ayade in the endorsement meeting at the Exco Chambers that his signature projects speaks for him. “After a critical assessment of your giant strides, especially your industrialization efforts across the State, including the 275 km super highway, we have come to join forces with you in the interest of the State to move it to higher heights,” Ene stated.
On his part, the State Chairman of the Labour Party, Baron Eyo assured that Ayade’s re-election ambition is a done deal, adding that, “Other candidates have not shown any act of seriousness which is why we are here to support you, we will do everything within our capacity to mobilize support for the PDP and the Governor to succeed, ” he said.
Also speaking, the Director General of the State PDP Campaign Council and immediate past Deputy Governor, Barrister Efiok Cobham commended the courage of the two opposition parties to stand firm for posterity sake.
Reacting to his adoption by the parties, Governor Ayade described the action as a manifestation of common love for Cross River.
“Our brothers and sisters in the Labour Party and the SDP have come together to say, let’s have peace, let’s keep the catalytic political balance that has created Cross River as a unique State where power migrates from South to Central, North and then returns to South,” the Governor said.
Ayade said he accepted his adoption and thanked them describing their action as “a celebration of civilization and purity of our people.”
He maintained that upon the completion of his second term in office in 2023, power, in line with the rotational principle in the State, will shift to Cross River Southern Senatorial zone.
As at the time of filing this report, Mr. Eyo Ekpo Campaign Organization issued a press statement signed by its Secretary, Newton Bassey saying, “All party members, supporters and indeed all citizens of Cross River State are hereby advised once again to ignore any message whatsoever claiming that the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and / or the Eyo Ekpo Campaign Organization (EECO) have endorsed the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship and/or House of Assembly candidates or any other Party candidates whatsoever.
“We urge Cross River voters, particularly supporters of the SDP not to relent in their support but rather to turn out in large numbers on Saturday, 9th March and vote in support of our Party, SDP”. It Concludes.
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