Christian Ita, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, on Saturday said his principal did not participate in the purported parallel All Progressives Congress senatorial primary in the state.
There have been media reports that Ayade lost his bid to proceed to the Senate to represent Cross River North, after coming a distant third in the party’s primary.
But in a statement, Ita said the governor remains a presidential aspirant under the ruling party and did not involve himself in the Cross River North senatorial district primary election, contrary to rumours.
According to him, Governor Ayade is committed to his presidential ambition and will test his popularity with other aspirants during next month’s APC presidential primary.
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“The attention of the Cross River state government has been drawn to a video circulating in cyberspace purporting to be a parallel All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primaries for Northern Cross River where His Excellency, Professor Ben Ayade was listed as a participant,” the statement read.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we hereby state clearly that Governor Ayade did not take part in any senatorial primaries.
“His Excellency is a presidential aspirant who will be taking part in the APC presidential convention now slated for June 6.
“We make bold to say that the so-called parallel primary election as contained in the said video was at best a poorly scripted skit comedy shot by three persons sitting in a room.
“The sham video is indeed a joke taken too far. It was a vapid, infantile but failed attempt at manipulation as the clowns behind it tragically forgot to also manufacture ballot boxes, delegates, observers, and APC panel members.
“It was a handiwork of political desperadoes who are out to embarrass the governor. We wish to assure APC members and supporters, particularly in Northern Cross River, that there was no parallel Senatorial primaries in the district.
“The only valid and recognised senatorial primaries that took place in Ogoja and which was won by the former Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon Martin Orim and which does not have Ayade on the ballot, was monitored by the INEC and representatives from APC’s National Secretariat. The purported video suggesting a parallel exercise should therefore be ignored.”