By Patrick Obia
A former Governor of Cross River, Sen. Liyel Imoke has pronounced the Sen. representing the Cross River North – Sen. Jarigbe Agom as one of the strong leaders of his party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Imoke made the recognition in a pep speech given during the inauguration reception held in Abuja, where he lauded the trio of Sen. Jarigbe Agom, Hon. Peter Akpanke, and Hon. Godwin Offiono who he said, stood still and fought his successor, Sen. Ben Ayade tooth-for-tooth in the polls.
Senator Liyel said Jarigbe deserves full respect to be made a leader in the State’s PDP.
“As I speak to you, being the highest ranking political office holder in PDP in Cross River State, I want to say that distinguished Sen. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe qualifies with all our respect as the leader of our party in Cross River State and it is important we give him that respect and be fair with him when it comes with the issues of the party in the State. I want to congratulate the people of Cross River North, you have made PDP remain proud in the State.
“This team of Sen. Jarigbe Agom, Hon. Peter Akpanke, and Hon. Offiono defeated the past Governor of Cross River State and they did that soundly, but that didn’t come as a surprise, ” Imoke said.
Relatively, in the same event, the newly sworn-in member representing the Obudu/Bekwarra/Obanliku federal constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Peter Akpanke threw jibes at Sen. Ayade.
He questioned the professorship of the immediate past Governor saying he does not know former Governor Ben Ayade as a Professor, but rather as his constituent.
In his words, Hon. Akpanke said: “I am sending a message to our former Governor, Ben Ayade; I don’t want to call him professor because I don’t know if he is a professor. But tell him that I, Hon. Peter Betianabeshie Akpanke, I’m his House of Reps member, I am representing him in the House of Reps, so he is my constituent.”
Recall that prior to the elections, there were reports that Hon. Akpanke escaped many assassination attempts of which the then Governor, Ayade was allegedly fingered.