Judex Okoro, Calabar
Ahead of March 9 governorship election in Cross River State, the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, has stated that nobody or force can stop Gov Ben Ayade’s re-election.
Edidem Abasi Otu V, who stated this when Gov Ben Ayade paid a courtesy visit on the Obong in Council, said time had come for all sons and daughters of the Efik kingdom to vote massively for Governor Ben Ayade.
The first class monarch said: “Nobody or force can stop the re-election of the incumbent.
“From today, no matter the party you have been tagging along with, wherever you have been going through, if you are an Efik son or daughter and from the southern senatorial district, withdraw yourself back to the PDP and let us move forward and vote massively for Governor Ayade to complete his four more years, and nobody else.
“All Efik should come back home and let’s do what we have to do. Come back and let us form the nucleus and let’s build up and vote our sitting governor and his deputy.
“We have sat as traditional rulers and spiritual fathers and we came to a conclusion. We made a statement and that statement holds. Nobody, no power can take that second term from you,” he stated.
Insisting on the rotation principle in the state, the monarch said nobody can distort what is on the ground, declaring that “there is no vacancy in Government House. It is you that we want.”
According to Obong, the Ayade-led administration had done a lot for the state and for the Efik nation to deserve re-election.
In his reaction to the royal endorsement, Professor Ayade commended the Obong and Etubom-in-council for their support all this while, promising to continue the industrialisation of the state, thereby creating jobs for the teeming youths.
Ayade explained that upon his assumption of office in 2015, the state was at the verge of economic collapse having lost its oil wells, but he had rejigged the economy with the hope of making the state a business destination.
While cataloguing his achievements in three and half years, he said in spite of the fact that state is the third most indebted and 35 out of 36 states of the federation in terms of federal allocation, his administration was not owing salaries and pension, and had engaged over 8,000 appointees and had had an avalanche of industries built across the state.
He assured the Obong that after his second term in 2023, power would rotate to the Southern senatorial district in line with the state’s power rotation formula.