Governor Ayade Dumps PDP For APC

Cross Rivers State Governor Ben Ayade has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Governor Ayade announced his decision on Thursday morning after a closed-door meeting with six APC governors and some members of the National Assembly who visited him at the Government House.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva amd members of the state executive council were also at the meeting.

The governors who visited Ayade include Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State; Hope Uzodinma of Imo State; Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State who is also the APC caretaker Chairman; Simon Lalong of Plateau State; Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa State, and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

Ayade was elected as the governor of Cross Rivers State in 2015 under the platform of the PDP. He was reelected in 2019 under the platform of the same political party.

Ayade is the second sitting governor to have pitched his camp with the ruling APC, lately.

Six months back, Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi, also left the PDP.

Mr Umahi left the PDP citing “injustice” meted out to the South-East by the party as his reason.

Ayade In Victory Dance After Supreme Court Judgement

ben ayade dances to supreme court victoryThe Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has returned to the State after a Supreme Court affirmed his nomination as the legitimate candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 governorship election with a dance of victory. 

Addressing reporters on Monday on arrival at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar the Cross River State Capital, the governor said he was back to the state with a greater vigour to serve with a renewed hope devoid of political tension.

“We are putting the political tension behind us because we are done with the courts. It is time for us to come together as a state and as one big family united by the challenges of our circumstance to move forward with verve and vitality to reconstruct a new Cross River State that will protect and take care of the younger generations,” he said.

The excited governor rode in a motorcade from the airport through the streets of Calabar to show gratitude to over 100 support groups who gathered to welcome him back.

He told the gathering that his administration was more concerned about the economy of the state and that the executive had fashioned out ways to put an end to over dependence on Federal Allocation.

“It is the duty of my administration headed by a seasoned business man who is now in government to bring the desired change. A change that will put Cross River State on a road map and direction for proper prosperity.

“We are striving to put an end to Federal Allocation dependency and completely decoupled our self and also put an end to this political tension. This, therefore, means that we are creating a new focus, a new direction and indeed a new commitment, with renewed vigour believing that God, who has delivered us throughout these processes, will be with us so that will can ultimately provide the Eldorado for our people,” he stated.

Governor Ayade urged all Cross Riverians to come together as a family and a state in unity to join hands with him towards reconstructing a new Cross River State State.

“The distraction was minimal because God was on my site. I feel very relieved. I feel the spirit, the movement, the fear, the energy and everything that God represents in my life. It is a reflection of the fact that when you live and leave everything in the hands of God and submit to Him, He definitely takes control.

“I strongly believe that the great vision we have for the state, God will surely provide for them,” he added.

Calabar Carnival: Governor Ayade Leads Bikers’ Dry Run

calabar carnival Bikers Dry runAs events marking the Calabar Carnival draw closer, over 250 power bikes from Uyo, Imo, Enugu and Anambra States have participated in the 2016 Bikers’ Dry Run in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State.

Led by the state Governor, Ben Ayade, the extremely kitted crowd of bikers rode around the carnival routes to get familiar with the routes ahead of the main Bikers Carnival slated for December. 27.

According to Mr Ayade, the carnival which is 12 years in row is getting better and bigger with innovation added into it yearly.

The President of Metallic Nights Motorcycle Club of Calabar, Mr Akin Rickets, said that the club was established in early 2016 with the aim of getting power bikes riders to imbibe safety measures.

He maintained that 46 of his members were participating in Bikers’ Dry Run.

Governor Ben Ayade leading the bikers

“Our aim is to take safety measures by establishing the routes that would be taken on the real bikers’ day of December 27. We have distinguished personality in our club which ranges from military personnel, royal fathers, politicians and others,” Mr Rickets said.

A member of Millennium Motorcycle Club of Uyo, Mrs Ini Undonkan, said that she led 52 of her club members to participate in the Bikers’ Dry Run.

According to Undonkan, “riding a power bike is fun”. She pointed out that road crashes can be prevented if safety measures are taken.

Calabar carnival
A group of dancers that featured in past Calabar Carnival

“Some people see power bike as a male dominated show; but that is not true because we have over 10 females in our club who are experts.

“Riding a power bike is just like sport. As a woman, I wanted to be a pilot; but unfortunately I could not make it,” she told Channels Television’s correspondent Imani Odey.

The Bikers Carnival was first introduced in 2015 as a major innovation of the Mr Ayade-led administration to add colour to the event.

The Carnival in Calabar usually draws tourists from around the world and it has become a delight for most participants, as it showcases beauty, colour, craft and other talents that abound in Nigeria and particularly in the southern region of the oil-rich nation.

They Voted For Suntai, Not Acting Governor – Analyst

Public affairs analyst, Achike Chude, has said that the long absence of Taraba’s Governor Danbaba Suntai from office, without redress, is evidence of loopholes in the Nigerian constitution as the governor is the one voted to rule and not an ‘acting governor’.

Although, the constitution has made provisions that the deputy governor take over as ‘acting governor’ when the governor is indisposed, Mr Chude argues that “the people who voted for the governor, voted for the governor, they didn’t vote for the acting governor to be governor”.

This he said while reacting to the news of Governor Suntai’s expected return to office after a plane accident which took place in October 2012.

Using former First Lady, Turai Yar’adua, as an example, he highlighted that there was a failure to learn from history whereby “a few people who do not have any legal basis for directing the affairs of state” hold government and the people to ransom.

“That was not resolved right” because the people involved in the various acts were never called to book.

The culture of impunity may be at play in Taraba state even though “it was unfortunate that the governor had an accident. Unfortunate that he was injured” but this is about “a few people who are in power, who have availed themselves with all the trappings of power in a most undemocratic manner.

They do that through subterfuge, intrigue, outright manipulation of the system, corruption, intimidation, and sometimes outright threats against political opponents and at the end of the day, the whole state lie in comatose”.

Arguing that such long absence from office is unacceptable, he said the constitution doesn’t provide adequate instructions on the proper steps to take in such situations.

He also attributed the citizens’ silence regarding the matter to ‘the complacency and docility of the people,” adding that, the ignorance and illiteracy of the people is to be blamed.

He said “all of these things have a role to play when you are talking about effective administration of a people.”

“Our people have been so much marginalised… so they have surrendered their mandate to a few people who has taken it upon themselves to determine the direction of their state”.

Cross River Introduces Pentavalent Vaccine

The Cross River State Government has introduced the pentavalent vaccine so as to see to the wellbeing of  infants in the state and with the vaccine it is expected that infants will not die of preventable infant illnesses.

Pentavalent Vaccine is a combination of five vaccines of Hib-DPT-Hepatitis B in one injection that protects against germs that causes five diseases in children.

The state governor, Liyel Imoke disclosed this at the primary health care centre, Ikot Ansa in Calabar Municipality at the maiden immunization of the vaccine on children in the state.

Administering the vaccines on children whom their mothers brought out in large numbers to be part of this gesture, the governor enjoined health workers, nursing mothers, local government councils, donor partners, as well as traditional rulers to be apt in their roles in ensuring that this gesture is delivered effectively to every child in the state less than one year old.

Commissioner for health, Professor Eyo-Ita assured all of the ministry’s resolve to ensure consistent supply of the vaccine, in view of its importance.

The first phase of this exercise across the country commenced in May 2012 at the introduction of the vaccine in 13 states of Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos, Plateau, Rivers, and the Federal Capital Territory.

The second phase began in January this year, with a roll-over of the vaccine in seven additional states.

Cross River State falls under the third phase of beneficiaries and will be introduced in the remaining fifteen states.