APC Presidential Aspirant, Ben Ayade, ‘Secretly’ Picks Senatorial Forms for Nigeria Senate

APC Presidential Aspirant, Ben Ayade, ‘Secretly’ Picks Senatorial Forms for Nigeria Senate

The Cross-River State Governor and presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ben Ayade, has ‘secretly’ obtained senatorial forms of the ruling party. This was gathered on 10th May 2022.

He will reportedly be contesting for the Northern Senatorial district in the State against Adams Cecilia Omenya and Orim Martin Ojie who picked up their forms, if he fails to secure the party’s presidential ticket at the forthcoming primary.

It’s noteworthy that Ayade had on April 26, 2022 declared his interest to run for the office of the President under the aegis of the APC, having decamped from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in May, 2021.

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He had claimed to have secured the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, which informed his desire to contest for the presidential ticket of the ruling party. He promised to tackle the poor electricity supply if elected as the President of Nigeria in 2023.

On Monday, 9th May 2022, a support group – known as sons and daughters of Cross River – presented the N100m APC presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms to the Cross River governor.

While accepting the forms, Ayade claimed he had governed Cross River well, hence could do the same for the entire country.

However, an APC document gathered by newsmen, as at Thursday 12th May 2022, revealed that the governor had also obtained the N20m forms for the Cross River Senatorial election.

It was further learnt from a reliable source, who is an APC member, that another senatorial aspirant from the district has entered a pact to act as a placeholder for the governor.

The source said, “You know senatorial primaries will come before presidential, so that aspirant who I don’t want to mention his name will get the Cross River North senatorial ticket.”

“If the governor fails to get the presidential ticket of our party, then his front who got the senatorial ticket will step down and he will be replaced by the governor.”

It could be recalled that Ayade formally declared his membership for the ruling party at the Cross River State Executive Council Chamber, Governor’s Office in Calabar, in May last year, after a two-hour meeting with seven APC governors led by the party’s then interim National Chairman and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.

Speaking on why he left the PDP for the APC, Ayade hinted that the character attributes of President Buhari and the realization that Cross River, which had been emasculated economically following the ceding of its oil wells, needed to be in sync with the party at the centre, were the main reasons for his defection.

He said, “Having seen and known the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his commitment to this country, his nationalistic disposition and all the efforts he has made to bring Nigeria to where we are today, it is obvious that at this point we needed to join hands with him to build a Nigeria that we can be proud of.

“We need all governors to recognize that it is not the party that matters. It is a character, it is an honour, it is a commitment to the vision of this great nation.

“We all need to as teamwork ahead of the president by working towards building a prosperous country that the succession worries of 2023 will come without the fears and the worries the international community has for us.

“I believe that if every one of us as governor joins hands with Mr President, I think we can sit on the same dining table and fashion out a way to govern this country.”

I had earlier foreseen and analyzed that Ayade was not sincerely aspiring for the Nigeria’s presidential position. At the time, I made it clear that he and his likes were only making efforts to create inconsequential ripples and confusion among the genuine aspirants.

But it’s indeed appalling that the various Nigeria’s politicians have chosen to ridicule their personalities in the country’s public sphere. It’s even more baffling when realized that some of these actors are noted as academic professors.

My joy is that the electorate have become more politically aware at the moment, unlike before.

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