By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
Former vice president and presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, has visited Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, to solicit his support over the oncoming party primaries which would decide who becomes the PDP flag bearer.
Speaking when he led his team, including former governors of Ogun and Imo states, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Chief Achike Udenwa respectively to see Ayade, yesterday, the Adamawa-born politician promised to run a lean federal government through his restructuring agenda if voted as the president
“If you give me your support, you can expect more than what you have given me. I can assure you that because of your impact in my life you will continue to receive my priority in the sense that you will always have federal support to ensure that you continue to achieve whatever you want to achieve in this state,” he stated.
He further described the governor as an epitome of good governance and commended him for being broad-minded in his approach to governance, adding “your inclusiveness of governance has led to a number of achievements which are not only known in Cross River but the whole country.
“There are very few states that are actually very regular and prompt in payment of salaries like this state. Honestly, we tend to praise and commend Cross River for paying as at when due. This achievement has resonated all over the country and you are seen as an example of good governance.”
Atiku noted that in spite of the lean resources of the state, the governor, through application of intellect, is rapidly industrialising the state, thus creating thousands of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths. He listed industries build by the Ayade-led administration to include the Cross River Garment Factory, the Calendar Pharmaceutical Company, the rice seeds and seedlings centre, the banana plantation, rice mill, and cocoa processing plant in Ikom.
“We get news of all these because if you goggle Cross River and Ben Ayade, you will see all these. This is technology and it is digital. Your achievement like the rice seedling centre, which is undergoing a test run now, and is a major development in the agricultural sector and will employ a large number of unemployed youths. You are indeed a talk and do governor.”
Responding, Ayade said: “as an aspirant of the PDP and somebody who has been a Vice president, I believe that the experiential calculus shows clearly that you are capable, competent and qualified to aspire for the position of president,” he stated without giving any commitment to the former Vice President’s presidential ambition.
He expressed happiness that restructuring is part Atiku‘s agenda, stating that “we will like to see a federal government that will respond to our yearnings and create that platform that will allow us exploit our wealth and create a new hope for our people.”