Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, has emerged as the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Cross River North Senatorial District ahead of the 2023 elections.
This followed the conduct of fresh primaries on Thursday in line with the provisions of the new Electoral Act after the voluntary withdrawal of the previous candidate, Martins Orim.
Ayade emerged unopposed at the primary, which was held at the Ogoja Local Government headquarters
The Cross River Governor polled 252 votes of the 255 votes cast.
The chairman of the electoral committee, Sameera Tabo, declared Ayade the unanimous winner, saying three votes were invalid.
In his acceptance speech, Ayade thanked the delegates for electing him and explained that “after running for the office of the president of Nigeria, I returned home and then came under tremendous pressure from my people.
“They said I did very well when I was a Senator from 2011 to 2015 and insisted I go back and today I have answered their call. Of course, they recognised that this country requires a legislator that has both executive and legislative experience.”
Ayade said he was well equipped for the senate and would bring his wealth of experience to bear in the upper legislative chamber if elected.
“I am very experienced, I know the challenges of our people, and I possess all the essential elements that will help us make the appropriate laws and legislations that will change the narrative of our people.
“More importantly, it is imperative to work with the incoming APC president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to reconstruct the concept of development within the African context. Development is about the people and in a sluggish, developing economy, emphasis cannot be put on infrastructure alone.
“We will target people, medium scale industries, small scale businesses will be put under sufficient grants and support until they begin to migrate away from poverty.
“So I am happy that I am going back to the legislature where I can add additional value to the next government and this country,” he said