Ayade Wins Cross River North Senatorial Primary Rerun

A file photo of Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade. Twitter: @senatorbenayade


Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has emerged candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Cross River North Senatorial District.

He was elected at a primary election rerun conducted at Ogoja Local Government headquarters where he emerged unopposed.

The by-election was necessitated by the voluntary withdrawal of Hon. Martin Orim who had won the ticket in the initial exercise held on May 28, 2022.

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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.

APC Primary: I Will Respect APC Consensus Candidate If Process Is Fair – Ayade


Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, on Tuesday, said he will respect the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should the party field a consensus candidate for the 2023 general elections.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, the governor said the decision of the ruling party supersedes his personal decision, provided the process is transparent and fair enough.

“In a scenario where the party creates very classical elucidations of the basis and selection criteria that I find completely adequate, I will have no objection,” the governor said.

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“If the basis for narrowing down to somebody on the consensus basis and I don’t happen to be the one, I need to understand the selection criteria to explain how they arrived at Mr A and not B. If I feel that is a fair process, of course, I will yield to the supremacy of the party.

“I am a team player and I don’t have any qualms with that. But I must see that it is fair and transparent. I know that capacity will be one of the key factors in consideration.”

The governor also boasted of having bagged the requisite experience to lead Nigeria, wondering what selection will exclude him from clinching the APC presidential ticket.

Speaking further, Ayade said he has worked for several years in the oil and gas sector, served as a lecturer in a university, and served as a lawmaker and lawyer coupled with his governorship experience.

As Cross River Governor, Ayade said, “I pride myself as having over 30 factories to my credit. No governor has built the number of factories I have built in this country. So I wouldn’t know what selection process will exclude me.”

Ayade Mourns Nda-Isaiah, Condoles With The Media Industry


The Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade has described as a monumental loss to the nation and the media industry, the death of the publisher of Leadership newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah.

The governor lamented in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr.Christian Ita, that “Sam died at his prime and at a time his rich input to the growth of the media industry in Nigeria was still needed.”

“It was with rude shock and utter disbelief that I received the news of Sam’s demise. For Nigeria and for his immediate constituency, the media, this is a monumental loss, a sad, irreparable loss. Sam was simply one of the finest of the pack”, Professor Ayade further said in the statement.

READ ALSO: ‘He Will Be Sorely Missed’, Buhari Mourns Sam Nda-Isaiah

Urging his immediate family and the media industry to take the Leadership Newspaper publisher’s sudden death in their strides, the governor stated that “since it has pleased God to recall Sam to His bosom at the prime of his career and age, we can not but submit to His will for He alone knows why Sam had to leave us at this time.”

Continuing, Ayade said: “The Holy Bible admonishes us to praise God and give Him thanks in all situations, and so, I thank God for the very impactful and salutary life Sam lived, for according to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “it is not the length of life, but depth of life”

The governor prayed that God grants Nda-Isaiah’s soul peaceful repose.

Ayade Declares War On Kidnappers, Other Criminals, Launches Operation Akpakwu

Ben Ayade


The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade has launched a special operation, code-named operation Akpakwu, to flush out criminals from the state, especially kidnappers. 

Speaking at the event, Governor Ayade said though statistics indicate that the state remains one of the safest in the country, he decried recent incidents of criminality, especially kidnappings in the state.

Handing over 100 patrol vehicles fitted with cutting edge communication gadgets, power bikes, and drones to service commanders in the state, Ayade vowed to return the state, particularly Calabar, to the paradise it once was.

Upon distributing the vehicles to security agencies, the governor asked every criminal in the state to relocate immediately as the state will no longer be a haven for their kind.

“Cross River State statistically remains the safest state in Nigeria, however as a state, we are used to the culture of zero kidnappings, zero cultism, and zero robberies.

“In recent past, there has been an increase in the number of crimes within the Niger Delta and the country as a whole arising from the difficulty orchestrated by Endsars as well as Covid19 which brought a general poverty and general hardship upon the entire world,” the governor said.

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According to him, “the instruction is very clear from Abuja, you must deal decisively with any form of criminality, you must deal decisively with any form of banditry, cultism, the kidnapping of any form.

“Let this, therefore, be a strong message to every Cross Riverian and nonindigenes alike, that as far as you are resident in Cross River State, today is the end of that criminality.

“Today is the end of armed robbery, banditry must end today. We have received very clear instructions from the federal government and I have supported and I stand strong with all my military men and the police that they must comply with the obligations, the instructions and orders of the Inspector General of Police and the commander in chief of the Nigerian armed forces that Cross River State must be made safe.”

The governor blamed the spate of kidnappings and robberies in the state on outsiders, citing the police records of those arrested so far in the state over crimes.

He stated that going forward every landlord in the state must account for every tenant as part of the regulations which he has signed into the law, under Homeland security.

The governor also declared that under this operation “Akpakwu” government will henceforth demolish any property belonging to, or being occupied by kidnappers and robbers.

He decried the noninclusion of the Bakassi Strike Force in the Amnesty programme of the Federal Government after voluntarily surrendering their arms at the behest of the state and federal government.

“We want to ask the federal government to explain to us why the Bakassi Strike Force has not been given proper restitution, rehabilitation, and reintegration as they have done in other states.

“I plead in the name of God that the Bakassi strike force should be admitted into amnesty so that they can have their due and be properly trained so they can become citizens that will bring value to society,” he lamented.

Cross River Govt Imposes 24-Hour Curfew

Easter: Ayade Calls For Peace, Prayers For Leaders
A file photo of Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade.


Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade has imposed a 24-hour curfew in the state.

According to a statement issued on Friday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, the curfew takes immediate effect.

The development, he noted, followed the hijacking of the peaceful protest against police brutality in the state by hoodlums.

While advising residents of the state to observe the curfew, Ita warned that security agents have been mandated to arrest anybody who flouts it.


Ayade imposes 24hr curfew in Cross River

Following the hijacking of the peaceful protest against police brutality in the state by hoodlums, the state governor, Sir Ben Ayade has imposed a 24hr curfew in the state starting from 6 pm on Friday, October 23, 2020.

Residents of the state are advised to observe the curfew as security agents have been mandated to arrest anybody who flouts it.


Christian Ita

Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the governor

Ayade Swears In Eneji As Cross River Acting Chief Judge

Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade swears in Justice Maurice Eneji as the acting Chief Judge of the state on March 3, 2020.


Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade has sworn in Justice Maurice Eneji as the acting Chief Judge of the state.

The swearing in of the CJ on Tuesday follows the non-confirmation of Justice Akon Ikpeme as the substantive Chief Judge of the state by the Cross River State House of Assembly on Monday.

While asking the new Chief Judge to dispense justice without fear or favour, the governor said the exercise was imperative as law and nature abhor a vacuum.

“I urge you to dispense justice without fear or favour, you have to have fairness of mind. The law is blind and should not be sensitive to religion, ethnicity, colour or affiliation.

“We ask that the leadership of the judiciary under your watch should be very exemplary and should be such that every other state would like to emulate. We know your background and believe that you are competent and capable and worthy of this office,” he said.

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Ayade said that as governor, he has taken several decisions in the past to ensure equity and fairness in the distribution of government positions so as to have a balanced representation across the senatorial zones in the state.

The governor gave instances where he insisted that the position of the Provost of College of Education in Akamkpa be given to a southern candidate even when a candidate from the north had the highest score.

Speaking further, Ayade recalled how he overlooked a northerner while appointing the Head of Service upon assuming office, stressing that he preferred a southerner occupy the position to avoid having a lop-sided government with key officials coming from a particular zone.

“Currently, I have over 20 non-Cross Riverians holding various appointments in my government. Some of the appointees are from far flung states like Kano, Imo, Edo to as close as Akwa Ibom state, which has a commissioner in my cabinet. I am not known or given to sectionalism or tribalism. I believe in equity,” he stated.

On his part, the new acting Chief Judge pledged to enthrone a number of reforms that will aide justice delivery in the state.

He promised to be a listening leader, adding that the judiciary under him will be tough on criminals.

50 Civil Society Orgs. Name Gov. Ayade ‘Man Of The Year’

CSOs, Ben Ayade, Man Of The YearCross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has been named the ‘Man of the Year’ by 50 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of the Civil Society National Lectures and Awards (CISNALA).

The latest award is coming on the heels of similar recognition by three Nigerian newspapers – Vanguard, Business Hallmark and the Authority newspapers respectively.

The conferment of the CSO Man of the Year on Governor Ayade, according to CISNALA, “is for his recorded milestone in good governance, democracy dividends, people-oriented policies and programmes, transparency and accountability, as well as infrastructure and human capital development”.

A statement which unveiled the honour was jointly signed and issued on behalf of the CISNALA by its convener and the National Coordinator of COCMEP, omrade Innocent Okadigbo, and the Convener of Transparency Centre Network, Mr Umar Farouk, among others.

According to the group, the exercise which led to the eventual “emergence of Governor Ayade as the CSO Man of the Year, was a product of a keenly contested and due process compliant selection system” which the Governor had no inkling of.

The statement disclosed further that the award would be conferred on the Governor in Abuja on a date yet to be announced.

The CISNALA also highlighted other considerations for the conferment of the award to include “(Ayade’s) strident green life advocacy, construction of the largest garment factory in Africa, construction of multi-million dollar rice city project, completion of Calabar International Convention Centre, prompt and regular payment of workers’ salaries, ongoing construction of his signature projects, namely, the Bakassi Deep Seaport and 260km Digital Superhighway, among others”.

Cross River Govt. Sets February 2017 Deadline For Uninterrupted Power

General Electric, Governors Forum, MoUThe Cross River state government has set a February 2017 deadline to complete works on 21 megawatts Calabar Power Plant and give Calabar metropolis 24/7 uninterrupted electricity supply.

During his routine inspection of the ongoing construction work at the site along the Parliamentary Extension in Calabar the Cross River State Capital, Ayade hinted that the power plant was a new technology which is cost effective.

The project, according to the governor, is one of the fruits of the several Memorandum of Understanding signed with foreign investors during his several investment trips outside Nigeria.

On the status of the power plant, the governor explained that the project was a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and that the state was working in partnership with a Brazilian/American firm which is also collaborating with the Cross River State Power Company to establish and deliver on the world class independent embedded power plant in Calabar.

He also assured residents and participants in the forthcoming Calabar Festival of steady power supply.

Professor Ayade said that the state had also concluded arrangements with Lilleker and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the yuletide.

Ita-Giwa Opens Restaurant In Calabar, Promotes Cholesterol Free Food

ita-giwa-the-fusion-restaurantA restaurant, the Fusion, set up by prominent Bakassi leader, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, has opened in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State.

At the opening of the restaurant, the Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to supporting indigenes who decide to establish investments in the state.

He said: “Senator Florence Ita-Giwa is a dream and pride of Cross River State.

“She is one of those great assets of the state, and we laud you for having the courage to come here and invest in the state. As part of efforts to encourage you, all the bills at the opening of this restaurant will be paid by the state government.

“As a person, as Ben Ayade, I am donating the sum of five million Naira. This is to show Cross Riverians that if they indeed come to invest in Cross River, the government would be there to support them”.

Whoever Wants To Eat

Speaking at the Opening, Senator Ita-Giwa said the Fusion was going to serve meals that would take into consideration the wellbeing of whoever wants to eat.

According to her, the restaurant is aimed at uniting all members of the society, hence the name, The Fusion.

“This place is going to unite young and old, forward looking children, hardworking people and so on.

“We are going to have food that will take your well-being into consideration. You will eat and have energy and look like I do at 70, still very energetic. I don’t have joint pain, no knee pain.

“I am the only 70-year old that does the 12 km Carnival walk. So if you eat the Fusion food, you will be like Ita-Giwa. Everything here is measured. Like the salt here is sodium-free. The oil here is cholesterol free. What I am serving here is what I eat and I like my life,” Ita-Giwa said.

Among many dignitaries that graced the event were former Cross River State governor, Donald Duke; former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso; and Kogi State Senator, Dino Melaye among others.

Cross River State Govt. To Float Shipping Line

Cross River shipping lineCross River State government in southern Nigeria has announced plans to float a state’s shipping line that will service countries along the coastal line.

The State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, announced the plan on Friday at a meeting with 21 indigenous Merchant Navy Maritime Students from the Philippines. They were on a courtesy visit to his office, in Calabar.

Assuring them of the government’s continuous support, the governor said that as a result of the new development, coupled with the fact that Cross River now has well trained maritime experts, his administration would see to the creation of Maritime Services Department in the state.

Governor Ayade further told the visitors that, the Maritime department would oversee the affairs of the students and ensure that they got to the peak of their chosen career.

Leader of the group, Deck Cadet Olom Gabriel Odey, thanked the governor for the role he played in facilitating their admission into Maritime Universities of Cebu and Lecyean, both in the Philippines, as a serving Senator.

The trainees further requested for an opportunity to have sea time experience which is the perquisite for their training programme.

Buhari To Commission Calabar Monorail

Calabar Monorail, Cross RiverCross River State is ready for the commissioning of the Calabar Monorail which is expected to be commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on a soon to be announced date.

According to the State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, the President’s Commissioning of the Monorail will be to mark his first year in office.

Speaking moments after a second test ride in the monorail, in Calabar the Cross River State Capital, Ayade said that taking another ride in the monorail was his own way of checking to ensure that the project was ready for commissioning before the President arrives the state.

Ayade maintained that with the kick-off of the monorail, the state’s economy would be boosted and many employment opportunities would be opened for the unemployed in the state.

On whether the monorail would be fully ready to accommodate the huge crowd that will flood the state soon, the Governor averred that, with the commitment shown by the contractor, he is optimistic that everyone visiting will not only have a smooth ride on the rail but a memorable experience.

South-South Governors To Meet With Buhari Over Security Issues

South-south governorsFive Governors of Nigeria’s south-south states plan talks with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss various security issues affecting the zone, including the menace of herdsmen.

The governors, who are members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), met on Sunday in Asaba, the capital of Delta State.

At the meeting were Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, that of Akwa Ibom, Gabriel Udom Emmanuel, Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike, Bayelsa, Seriake Dickson and Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade.

They discussed security challenges posed by Fulani herdsmen and condemned the recent pipeline vandalism in the Niger delta.

Discussions were also focused on the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State and the governors resolved to reposition the party to be victorious.

At a press conference after the meeting, which took place at the Delta State Government House, Asaba, the host, Governor Okowa, said that far reaching decisions were made.

He said: “We discussed issues concerning our great party, the PDP. You will recall that our convention has been fixed to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on May 21 and we are putting plans in place for that convention.”

“The Chairman of the committee for the convention is Governor Wike of Rivers State and we use this medium to call on all our supporters and members of the PDP to desist from any form of crisis before, during and after the convention. We accepted, as a party, and the leadership of the party agreed that the national convention should hold at Port Harcourt. We stand by that resolution,” he added.

Senator Okowa stated that issues bothering on the PDP in Edo State and the governorship elections coming up in September, 2016 were also discussed, asserting that had tried to map out strategies in order to strengthen the PDP in Edo State.

Asked about the strategies to muscle power from the All Progressive Congress-led government in Edo State, Governor Okowa, beaming with smile alongside his colleagues said: “We will not let the cat out of the bag because we are putting things in place at the moment”.