Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, has been elected as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Cross River North Senatorial District.
Ayade was elected on Thursday at an event held at the Ogoja local government headquarters.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY reports that a bye -election was held following the withdrawal of Martin Orim who the National Headquarters of the party had affirmed as the party’s candidate in the primary election held on May 28, 2022.
The Chairperson of the APC Primary Election Committee for Cross River North, Sameera Tabo, declared the governor winner with 252 votes.
All the delegates affirmed Ayade with no opposition.
According to Tabo, following Orim’s withdrawal, the senatorial by- primary election was to ensure that the party fielded a candidate for Northern Cross River senatorial district under the provisions of the Electoral Act.
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.
His words: “I am very experienced, I know the challenges of our people, I possess all the essential elements that will help us make the appropriate laws and legislation 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.”