May 9, 2022

I’ll be next President, says Ayade; gets nomination form

2023 Race: Ben Ayade picks presidential form Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, Monday, obtained his nomination and expression of interest forms on the platform the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. Ayade picked his forms at the International Conference Centre in Abuja alongside several aspirants vying for various electoral offices ahead of Tuesday’s deadline for the sale of forms in APC. Group of supporters of Rivers State purchased the form for Ayade to contest the presidency and handed it over to him in Abuja. With this, Ayade has thrown his hat into the ring. In April, Ayade declared to run for President. According to him, he received approval from the President, Muhammadu Buhari. Addressing his supporters while accepting the forms in Abuja Monday, the presidential hopeful said he has governed Cross Rivers well and can do the same for the entire country.

Governor Ben Ayade receiving his forms.

The Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, on Monday, said he hoped to run for the office of the president in the 2023 general election, expressing confidence that he “will be next president of this country”.

He said he will engage Nigerians on the “basis of what I have done and not on promises and not on statistics and I would do so with videos and pictures so that those who don’t know would know.”

Speaking shortly after he received his nomination and Expression of Interest (EOI) forms purchased for him by sons and daughters of Cross River State, AREWA Youths as well as other interest groups across the country’s six geopolitical zones, Ayade said he would replicate his successes as a state governor at the national level and help address the country’s myriad of challenges.

“I thank all of you who have contributed to the purchase of these forms, your money will not go in vain,” he said.

Ayade said: “Great Nigerians citizens, I come before you not as a politician, but as a system purifier.

“I understand the challenges of this country and that as a Ph.D student, as somebody who is a professor; I have an intellectual potency to my professorship.

“As a senator of the federal republic, I had 41 bills, the highest in the 7th republic.

“As a governor, I met a state that had a gross debt profile of over N382 billion – a state that was declared insolvent before I became a governor; a state that was classified as a state that had failed and as a state that cannot pay salaries.”

He said, “I met a judiciary in total comatose – 13 months of strike without work. When I was sworn in, I was told I would be stoned after two months because we cannot pay salary.

“But today, I have been in office for seven years and I have not defaulted on salary or pension. People may not realise why I am putting myself forward- if I can run Cross River State sometimes with zero allocation, sometimes with N25 million…with a population of 4.2 million people.

“How would I have run a state where I cannot borrow, where I was completely fixated, I ran a state with bare knuckles, empty palms and I can drag the state to success…a state that never defaulted.”

The governor said, “Enough of politics, if this country is sincere, let’s ask everybody, let’s go to every state – show us what you have done- it will not be on Tik-Tok, it will not be on television. That money I will spend on live coverage on television I will use it to pay salary…

“If you want to know whether I am qualified to be president, come to Cross River State. I have a history: I was born into poverty, I conquered poverty in my private life, I conquered poverty in my corporate life, my businesses thrived and I became a governor…

“I want to serve this country- this country has too much resources, too much oil for the situation we find ourselves.

“I am never aggressive, I always come looking very unserious ; you all know how I became a governor- I was the only one who was last to buy the form, I was the only one without a poster, I was the only one who refused to campaign but today I am governor.”

He said, “You watch and see the next things to come. If God really loves this country, which I know he does, Ayade will be next president of this country.

“I will engage Nigerians on the basis of what I have done and not on promises and not on statistics and I would do so with videos and pictures so that those who don’t know would know.”

Vanguard News