Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has dedicated his recent triumph at the apex court in a pre-election matter instituted against him by Mr. Joe Agi (SAN) to God and promising that more jobs will be created in 2017.
Ayade yesterday made what could be described as a triumphant entry into the state, following the December 9, Supreme Court verdict which affirmed his victory as the lawfully elected governor.
In what was clearly a further reaffirmation of his popularity and acceptability by the people, over 20, 000 people drawn from the 18 local government areas, including Hausa and Yoruba communities had taken over the airport and major streets of Calabar to welcome the governor.
Bearing different solidarity messages, the crowd carried banners with inscriptions such as ‘welcome back home after the conquest’, ‘you came, you dared and you excelled’, among others.
Governor Ayade who arrived the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, at exactly 12.30 pm, was received by a large crowd of Cross Riverians, traditional rulers, party faithful, House of Assembly members as well as members of the state executive council, who had thronged the airport as early as 7.30 am.
Addressing journalists at the airport tarmac, shortly on his arrival, Professor Ayade disclosed that, “we have put the political tension occasioned by the litigation behind us because we are now done with the courts.”
Governor Ayade who said it was time for Cross Riverians to come together as a people and move the state to the next level, appealed: “It is time for us to come together as a state and as one big family, united by the challenges of our circumstance to march forward with verve and vitality to reconstruct a new Cross River State that will protect and take care of the younger generations. I call on my brother, Joe Agi to join me so that together we can make our dear state, one that we can all be proud of. Please send any of your best eleven to join my team. What we both went through was a normal test of our democracy and the strengthening of our judicial process. It was nothing personal.”
He noted that “It is the duty of this administration headed by a seasoned business man who is now in government as the governor to bring the desired change, a change that will put Cross River State on a direction for prosperity.”
He further stressed that God who has delivered him and his administration throughout those anxious moments at the various courts would ultimately provide the Eldorado for his people.
Asked whether he was distracted while the court case lasted, Ayade said: ”The distraction was minimal because God was on my side,” adding that “I feel very relieved. I feel the spirit, the movement, the energy and everything that God represents in my life. It is a reflection of when you live and leave everything in the hands and submit to God, He definitely takes control.”
The governor maintained that “because of this belief, I strongly believe that the great vision we have for the state, God will surely provide for their actualization.”
With Calabar literaly shut down, the governor was driven in a motorcade to the capaxity filled U.J. Esuene Stadium, where youths chanted his name and sang different victory songs in celebration of his Supreme Court victory.
A thanksgiving service jointly organized by the Cross River State government and the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Cross River chapter where prayers and thanksgiving were offered to God for the victory of the governo and for the prosperity of the state.
Governor Ayade was later honoured with a chieftaimcy title by the state council of traditional rulers.