By Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, has assured political appointees, especially his 8000 aides that none of them would lose their jobs as he looks toward to assuming office for a second term.
Ayade who made the declaration on Friday shortly after he, and 25 people elected to the state House of Assembly were presented with a Certificate of Return, said the period of politicking was over, hence all should work together in the overall interest of the state.
The governor thus extended a hand of fellowship to members of the opposition parties to join him in ensuring that the state succeeds.
At the Mike Igini Conference Hall, INEC state secretariat, Calabar where the event held, Ayade declared: “Politics has come to an end. We must quickly call our brothers from the other end, and sit on a round table and form of government of equity that will focus on the people. In my first tenure I was inexperienced, yet I expanded government more than the carrying capacity of the state.
“I was not driven by emotion, I was driven by the sentiments that we needed to put food on every family’s table that is why Cross River has over 8000 appointees, first in the history of Nigeria from a state with the lowest allocation. Every single family under my administration had food on their table, I did not do so because I had enough, I did so because I cared enough.
“In my second term I am even going to expand government much more, nobody is going to lose his job .It is time to put an end to all form of bitterness ,malice and grudge ,politics has ended it is time to face governance .
“We need to build hope by coming together as a people. I want all the candidates who participated to come together so that we can inculcate their ideas into governance and move Cross River State to the next level.”
While presenting the certificates of return to Ayade, and 25 House of Assembly members-elect, INEC Commissioner supervising Edo, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River, Dr. Mustapha Lekky, said it was not enough for one to be declared winner, but the Certificate of Return has to be given to confirm that the individual has been duly elected.
Lekky also appealed to those who had been elected to place the interest of the state and that of the nation above their personal interest.
“The Certificate or Return according to Section (75) sub section (1) confirms that an individual has been duly elected because declaring the person winner is not enough without presentation of the certificate and this is what we have done today in fulfillment of the law.
“There is need to place the Nations interest and that of the state as well as the Constituencies above personal interest even in victory in a bid to move the nation forward in the process. Let me also congratulate Cross River because the elections were relatively free, fair, and peaceful as no lives were lost during the election,” Lekky said.
In his remarks, the State Resident Commissioner, Dr. Frankland Briyai lauded the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu for providing adequate resources for the conduct of the conduct of the General elections.
“I thank the Chairman of the Commission for providing adequate resources for the successful conduct of the elections in Cross River. I also appreciate Cross Riverians for their patience because the success of the elections was not only because of INEC but because all hands were on deck even though it was very difficult,” Briyai said.
The REC charged all those who received their certificate of return to use their mandate in serving the people effectively and efficiently in a bid to bring growth and development which is the dividend of democracy and why the people voted for them.