The Chairperson of the APC Primary Election Committee for Cross River North, Barrister Sameera Tabo, declared the governor winner with 252 votes.
The total number of votes cast was 255 while three votes were invalidated.
According to Sameera, following Orim’s withdrawal, the senatorial by-primary election was to ensure that the party fielded a candidate for Northern Cross River under the provisions of the Electoral Act.
In his acceptance speech, Ayade expressed gratitude to the delegates for electing him.
The governor said he is well-equipped for the senate and would bring his wealth of experience to bear in the upper legislative chamber if elected.
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has called for international partnerships to tackle the rising levels of insecurity in Nigeria, maintaining that the situation is beyond President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor said this on Thursday, explaining that insecurity is not peculiar to the country.
“It is because people don’t understand the international dimension of this security challenge that they dismiss it as if it is a Nigerian or leadership issue,” the presidential hopeful said when he featured on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“It is a global issue with the focus on keeping Nigeria unstable and so you need some international strategic and security connection to actually address the issue. It is far beyond the President and the capacity of the President of Nigeria.”
The governor explained that terrorist groups like Boko Haram and ISWAP now have international links which means their influence spreads beyond Nigeria.
He said, “ISWAP has so much capacity today” just like Boko Haram with both targeting Nigeria’s mineral resources.
But while President Buhari met challenging situations, he has been able to tackle them, he said. According to him, the security condition could have been worse.
Nigerians, he argued, should therefore not judge Buhari based on “isolated incidents”.
“President Muhammadu Buhari met a challenging situation, held it, and has been able to pull back the terrorist attacks and you judge him based on one occasional incident,” the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said.
“If he was not there, it could have been worse than what he met. But he has made a lot of improvements.”
Ayade said people are not noticing the improvements because “it is the normal human nature to celebrate one isolated incident”.
“Contrary to what most states have done, we have made containment and control measures to define the beacons of range through which any form of ranching can be done,” he said while assenting to the law. “The law is very detailed. It provides penalties for straying cattle, as well as cattle rustling.
“Anybody who steals cattle belonging to a herdsman, there is a penalty provided in the law. Any herdsman who allows his cattle to stray out of the ranch, there is a penalty. So, with this law, we have protected the farmers and we have protected the herders too.
“This way we did not absolutely ban but we have controlled grazing, we have controlled movement of cattle and made a provision that all movement of cattle within the state has to be by vehicle, so, there would no more be trekking with cows through farmlands.”
Governor Ayade, however, debunked claims that the law has legitimatised the destruction of farmlands by farmers.
According to him, the law is not designed to entertain the destruction of farmlands or to exterminate the business of herders.
The governor explained that the government took into consideration, the fact that it was not only non-indigenes of the state were into livestock farming.
“We also have Cross River indigenes who are into livestock,” he clarified as he commended the speaker and members of the State House of Assembly for their foresight and cleverness in fashioning the laws.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Eteng Williams, in his remarks, said the law would shape the behavioural pattern of residents.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says Nigerians have rejected the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and are ready to kick the party out of office.
Wike stated this on Saturday in Calabar where he attended the inauguration of the Cross River State PDP campaign team for elections into legislative seats in the Akpabuyo State constituency and Ogoja/Yala Federal constituency of the state.
The governor declared, “It is obvious Nigerians have rejected the APC not just in Cross Rivers State but across the country. I thank members of the PDP for being resolute and ensuring the rally went ahead.
“With the passion and commitment shown today by our party members and the people of Cross Rivers State, I am confident our candidates would come out victorious in the February 26th by-elections and Nigerians would go on to vote out the APC in 2023.”
Governor Wike also berated his Cross River counterpart, Prof Ben Ayade, and the police for attempting to thwart the rally in Calabar. While addressing teeming PDP faithful at the venue of the rally in Calabar, Governor Wike described as disgusting, the attempt by Governor Ayade and the police to prevent PDP from holding its rally for the Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency and Akpabuyo State constituency bye-elections.
“When I was told that they don’t want you to hold this rally, I said this rally must hold today and I must come. Whatever will happen let it happen today. I told your leader that if you did not hold this rally today, then that would have been the end of PDP. But I thank God, all of you resisted it and you said enough is enough.
“Let me tell you now, I have come here today to let you know I’m going to give you every support. Don’t be afraid. They tried it in Rivers State, we resisted them. They are trying to instigate fear in you. Don’t be afraid at all. Whatever the Cross River government can do, PDP can do it better,” Wike added.
“I don’t understand how a governor would for ordinary federal constituency election, ordinary state election, you’re stopping them to hold a rally. When it comes to governorship what will happen?”
He urged the people to remain steadfast in their resolve to see that the APC is ousted from power in the coming elections.
He noted that apart from addressing insecurity, the present government is also repositioning the economy, adding that there have been moves to tap into other sources of revenue.
“Today, the APC government is coming up with a robust programme. We have 42 billion tonnes of bitumen deposit in Nigeria, making us the third after Canada and Venezuela. This government has a robust plan to put in place a proper bitumen processing plant which has never existed,” the governor added.
The governor, who thanked the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for his time with the main opposition party, however, called on them to advise the government when necessary.
Nigerians, he said, should look beyond party lines and put the nation first in whatever they do.
“I will not want to speak on party lines because party lines is what has kept this country backward. We should think like a country; we should think like a nation,” the former PDP member noted.
“There is nothing wrong with a PDP government; the PDP people making inputs to bring value.”
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday at State House, Abuja, received the Governors of Cross River and Zamfara States, who recently left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The new APC members, Governors Ben Ayade and Bello Matawalle were accompanied to the event by the Chairman Caretaker Committee of the Party and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, Gov Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State who is Chairman of Progressives Governors Forum, and Governor Muhammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State.
President Buhari handed the flags of the party to the two Governors, raised their hands aloft, and declared:
“This is one of the happiest times for us at this party. For you to have the courage to leave your constituencies to speak a lot. I wish Nigerians will reflect on it.
“I congratulate you for leaving your constituencies for our great party. We lost many states at the last election, which is unusual for a ruling party. But we did it to prove that we are a tolerant group. We wanted to demonstrate that we respect individuals.
“We emphasized that we respect our people. That was why we insisted on free and fair elections. Leaders should show honesty and respect for their followers.”
President Buhari added that the coming of the two Governors to APC was very important to the party, adding: “To be principled and identify your objectives is a great quality that should endear us to our people. Your people will respect you more for having the courage to come to APC at your own time. Nobody forced you, but you believe it is the best way to serve your people. I value your decision.”
Governor Mai Mala Buni said the Governors joined APC in appreciation of the good works the President was doing for the country and also announced that ward, local government, and state congresses of the party would start from July 31, 2021.
He said the congresses were shifted for one week because the initial dates clashed with Sallah festivities.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan called on stakeholders to ensure the party structure remains intact.
“Our party calls on all critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party in Cross Rivers State to immediately pull together and ensure that every structure of our party in the state remains intact.
“The PDP wishes Governor Ayade well in his new political sojourn as well as in his future endeavours”.
Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, has called on the National Assembly to handle issues in the Bill with circumspection, to avoid contentions that could trail its passage into law.
The governor said at the Governor’s Lodge in Calabar, the state capital while receiving Joint Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), who were touring the country for stakeholders’ inputs.
The governor lamented that the focus of the bill centers more on oil-bearing communities, with scant regard to communities that suffer the direct impact of exploration activities.
“While we make haste, we must show caution as the people of Cross River State have a very strong feeling that the PIB must address their unique concern, the PIB focuses so much on producing communities without emphasizing on the adversely impacted communities.
“We are the most impacted because all the oils within the Akpami fields find their way into Cross River State.
“Right here where you sit, directly behind my house here, is the Calabar River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean directly into the Akpami wells. One of those wells is just 36 kilometers from here. When there is a spill, where does it go to? It comes here,” Ayade said.
He added that the people of Cross River State have been treated unfairly as a state with a population of 4.2 million people gets a little over a billion naira while another state with about the same demography gets N14billion to N16 billion monthly.
He added that in spite of the haste with which the committee wants to drive the PIB, there is a need to exercise ecclesiastical caution to ensure that the PIB bill does not throw up other developments that will bring about other contentions and continuous struggle.
The Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade has congratulated former Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala on her confirmation as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, WTO.
A statement signed by Professor Ayade’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita, described the new WTO DG as the “poster girl of unassailable attainments and a record-breaker who has not only shattered a glass-ceiling but has continually proved her mettle and brought honour to the country.
“We are extremely proud of one of our very best, our own dear Ngozi who has just emerged the first African, the first woman, and the first black Director-General of WTO.
“As the Managing-General of the World Bank, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. OKonjo-Iweala brilliantly distinguished herself to the applause of her countrymen and women and to the admiration of the world”.
Governor Ayade noted that the international community found her suitable for the exalted office of the WTO.
He expressed optimism that the state will benefit immensely from her new role.
“I have no doubt that her wealth of knowledge will be of huge benefit to Nigeria, particularly Cross River, and the world at large”, Ayade further said.
The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has sworn in Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme as the first substantive Chief Judge of the state in nearly two years, making her the first female chief judge in the state’s history.
The swearing-in of the Chief Judge was held at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office in Calabar, the State Capital.
Governor Ayade admonished her to ensure that justice is guaranteed for all who come before her, noting that her swearing-in was an act of divine orchestration.
The Governor added that he was pleased that the long-drawn saga over the appointment of a substantial chief judge had finally come to an end, noting that the independence and stability of the Judiciary will be guaranteed with the emergence of Justice Ikpeme.
The Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office in Calabar was filled with members of the judicial arm of government from far and near as they gathered to witness the swearing-in of the first female chief judge of Cross River State by the state Executive Governor, Professor Ben Ayade.
Reacting to her confirmation by the legislative arm of Government, Professor Ben Ayade described Justice Ikpeme as the just and most qualified professional for the position, and sort her support for a robust working relationship throughout her term.
The newly sworn-in Chief judge, Justice Ikpeme in her remarks, assured that the judiciary under her watch will collaborate with the other two arms of government to bring about good governance for all citizens irrespective of where and who they are.
The National President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Olumide Akpata, and a representative from the Enugu Judicial arm were delighted with the occasion, describing it as a climax to a long struggle.
Other members of the executive arm of the state government also expressed their pleasure with the development which has given a woman the opportunity to explore, believing that she will put a humane face to all of her dealings.
The Cross River state governor, Ben Ayade, has congratulated Major-General Attahiru Ibrahim on his new appointment as Chief of Army Staff, saying President Muhammadu Buhari would not have made a better choice.
A statement signed by his Special on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita, quoted the governor as describing General Attahiru’s appointment as fitting, proper and deserving.
Ayade recalled that the new Army Chief has a long history with Cross River having served in the state as the Commander of the 13th Brigade, Calabar.
“As a state, we are not surprised at General Attahiru’s appointment as the new Chief of Army Staff. His emergence clearly shows that a golden fish indeed has no hiding place. General Attahiru is a thorough breed officer who distinguished himself professionally while here as a Brigade Commander.
“Indeed, President Buhari could not have made a better choice because in General Attahiru you have a meticulous, cerebral, and brave officer. His appointment is, therefore, fitting, deserving and proper”, the governor said.
Continuing, Professor Ayade emphasized that “General Attahiru’s appointment is again for our dear state for this fine officer has a long history with Cross River. He is one of our own having served as the Commander of the 13th Brigade, Calabar.
“We are indeed joyous that one of our own is on the saddle. We congratulate the new Chief of Army Staff and look forward to a robust working relationship with him nay the Army.”
The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade is appealing to the Federal Government of Nigeria to pay up its debts of 8.5 billion Naira for the supply of Dry and Raining season rice seedlings to 17 states across the country for three years.
The governor said that the payment will however go a long way to fund the state-owned industries.
He made the appeal at the signing ceremony of the 2021 budget of 281.9 billion Naira, Christened budget of Blush and Bliss, a sharp reduction of the previous budget size of over 1.01 trillion, held at the State’s Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Calabar.
He explained that the budget has provisions for social welfare schemes like grants and other financial benefits to help cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people.
According to Governor Ayade, for a Federal Government which is committed to Agriculture and industrialization, it is their responsibility to support states that are taking industrialization seriously.