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2019: Cross River South elders endorse Ayade for second term


In a show of appreciation for the numerous developmental projects sited in their zone,  elders from the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State, have thrown their weight behind the state Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, urging him to seek a second term in office.

Rising from an enlarged meeting in Calabar, which cut across party lines,  the elders unanimously applauded what they described as Governor Ayade's vision to transform the state in spite of its lean resources.

Elders at the meeting included former Health Minister, Dr. Emmanuel Nsan, former NDDC chairman, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong, Architect Bassey Ndem, former state PDP Chairmen, Chief John Okon and Ntufam Ekpo Okon, Professor Ndem Ayara and Rev. Grace Ekanem.

Others included Muri-Munene of Calabar South, Prof. Itam Ogan, Barrister Nella Rabbana (SAN), Prof. Stella Atoe.

"There couldn't have been another occupier of the Diamond house, Calabar, for now than Governor Ben Ayade," the elders said.

According to Nsan, "Today, hearing what Ayade has achieved within the limited resources available to us as a state, what he has tried to do to elevate the status of Cross River economically, socially and otherwise, even though, I am not a member of PDP, I will vote for him."

The former Health Minister further stressed: "I now appreciate, support and see him as a man of vision, wisdom, an intellectual per excellence, a true professor and son of the soil who likes us and we like him. We cannot hold back that affection, restoration, faith and love for him."

Raising a motion for the endorsement, Dr. Emil Inyang said: "Considering the situation of our state and cognisance of our finances, knowing that Cross River is the poorest state in Nigeria, with your performance on projects, that today you are not owing any salaries, whereas the people of Southern Senatorial District were the ones that ensured you became governor in 2015 and are patiently waiting for 2023, we hereby move and let it be moved that you go for a second tenure in 2019, with the support of this house, I so move."

Supporting the motion, former Commissioner For Women Affairs, Rev Grace Ekanem, remarked: "I do hereby rise to second the motion that come 2019, together we go and together we will move," adding that, "for all that you have done for us, all we want is the superhighway and the deep seaport because these two projects will lift Cross River from where we are."

Also supporting Ayade's endorsement, Elder Asuquo Ekpenyong affirmed: "Our governor deserves this motion that has been passed today as we jointly agree that he has performed very well. In spite of limited resources, we have seen his achievement. We, the Southern Senatorial District that brought him to power will give him another mandate in 2019 because we know him as the only one that can give us back power in 2023."

Extolling Ayade's humility and doggedness in office, Ekpenyong recalled that "when Ayade took over power, some of us knew the amount of indebtedness that we had as a state, but when confronted, this governor of ours rather told us that he inherited a wealthy state. This, is a sure prove that he got wisdom and has the vision for a better state."

Responding, Governor Ayade said: "I am enthused that they have such good records against the background of my performance, my neutrality and fairness, compassion, empathy, emotions, sensibility, my delicate combination focusing on the people of the state against other political considerations."

Ayade who said the endorsement which came from a senatorial district outside his, was emotional, assuring that it is "a call to service, I am going to rekindle myself and be more focused. I thank God so much for this trust given to me. I accept it with all humility, I shall not fail you."
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