2019: Ex-Bakassi militants declare support for Ayade

...as Labour Party in 7 LGAs dissolve into PDP
File picture of Gov. Ben Ayade, security chiefs with the Leader of the Bakassi strike force, Gee One

Over 5000 ex- Bakassi Strike Force militants, Friday, at the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship campaign rally in Bakassi Local Government of Cross River State, declared total support for the re-election of the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade.

This is even as the Labour Party in the seven local Governments Areas that make up the Southern Senatorial Districts of the state dissolved into the PDP at the rally.

The ex-militants had only a few months ago been granted amnesty by the Federal Government in collaboration with the Cross River government.

Speaking at the rally ground, the former commander of the defunct Bakassi Strike Force, Ene Benjamin Effiom, aka 'Gee one' said, "Ayade must go back to the Diamond Hill for he is what Cross River needs, a man with a heart of God."

Ene who rhetorically asked, "if not Ayade, who else?" intimated that "the governor has brought strong and lasting peace in the Gulf of Guinea as on the day of laying down our arms, he made the boys to become men."

Meanwhile the defectors from the Labour Party who spoke through the Labour party chapter chairman of Bakassi, Joseph Asuquo Bassey, disclosed that the chapter chairmen of Biase, Akamkpa, Odukpani, Calabar South, Calabar municipality, Akpabuyo and host Bakassi agreed to collapse their structures into PDP with a total of 5200 party faithful to ensure victory for the PDP.

Bassey enumerated the various achievement of Governor Ayade across the state as key areas his team looked into before joining the PDP, adding that, "those who are planning to wrestle power with you have not handled their family problems before coming out to seek our votes.

"Where are their manifestoes, plans and policies for our dear state, we cannot find any.”

At the Paramount Ruler's palace, Ikot Effiom, Bakassi, where Ayade paid homage to the Royal fathers, the Paramount Ruler, Etinyin Etim Okon Edet, applauded the various projects conceived and achieved by the governor during his first tenure in office, admitting that, "Ayade has done so much in his first tenure more than what other governors have done."

Continuing, Etinyin Edet who is also the chairman, Cross River Traditional Rulers council said "Ayade does not look for you only when he is in distress but always doing what is good."

On the trust he and his team has for Ayade to touch the lives of the people tremendously, Edet said: "I can close my eyes and Ayade put anything in my mouth, once it is Ayade I will swallow it," adding that, "for all he has done for the Bakassi people especially as his signature projects impact positively on us, all we need to pay him in return is to make sure our votes remain secured for Ayade."

Other stakeholders including Senator Florence Ita Giwa, Dr Ekpo Ekpo, Iyadim Iyadim, Saviour Nyong, Edisua Iso among others, canvassed support for the governor's return, insisting that he has truly proved himself a worthy, tried and tested administrator.

Responding, Ayade revealed his soft spot for the people Bakassi especially when he considers their pains, the dislocation and abuse meted on the people for no just cause, stressing that, "by any circumstance, equity should be the fundamental essence of human relationship."

 He thanked the Royal fathers for the trust in him as he affirmed that, "when I am back and I know I will, we will develop Bakassi in the way we can because this is Switzerland in Nigeria."

Ayade also appointed an indigene of the area, Chief Eneyo Eyo as the senior special Assistant to Governor on communication.
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