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Ayade emerges APC senatorial candidate for Cross River North

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State on Thursday secured the All Progressives Congress (APC), senatorial ticket for the Cross River North Senatorial District after the conduct of fresh primaries in line with the provisions of the new Electoral Act.

Ayade’s victory came after the voluntary withdrawal of the previous candidate, Martins Orim.

Ayade, who stood unopposed at the primaries, which were held at the Ogoja Local Government headquarters, polled 252 votes of the 255 votes cast.

The governor had abandoned the senatorial race earlier to contest for the presidential slot of the ruling APC, which the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, won,

The chairman of the electoral committee, Mr Sameera Tabo, while declaring Ayade as the winner, said three votes were declared invalid.

According to Sameera, following Orim’s withdrawal, a fresh primary election had to be conducted in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

In his acceptance speech, Ayade expressed gratitude to the delegates for electing him.

He 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”.

The governor 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”’ said Ayade.

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