The first National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Emmanuel Ibeshi, has become the major challenger to Governor Ben Ayade’s quest for a second term ticket on the platform of the PDP.
The prospects of Ibeshi, a former member of the House of Representatives are, however, being played down by supporters of the governor.
Ibeshi, while addressing supporters at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, said the thrust of his gubernatorial ambition would be focused on entrepreneurship development by making the state an “investment haven” so as to create jobs and boost the economy.
”It is unfortunate that the state which used to be a tourist destination is now forgotten by tourists and this is as a result of bad administration that the most tourists infrastructure have gone bad including the famous cable car at the Obudu Ranch Resort”
One of his ardent supporters, Isabela Anunkwa, a PDP chieftain told newsmen that Ibeshi is a seasoned administrator and would undertake to revive moribund infrastructure and abandoned projects like Marina Leisure Resort, Obudu Cattle Ranch and make them yield revenue to the state and create employment for the teeming army of unemployed.
”Ibeshi has been in the system long before Ayade and has the support of the people, particularly the youths and would not waste much efforts and resources before he wrestles the PDP ticket from Ayade during the primaries.”
However, several groups including market women, civil servants, student groups, youth association, have lined up to declare their support both at the primaries and general elections for the governor.
Prince Michael Abuo, the Special Adviser to the governor on Students’ Affairs and Youth Mobilisation and the Director-General of Cross River State Political Network said the governor will maintain his seat until 2023 regardless of his oppositions.
According to Abuo, “In the midst of paid anti-Ayade protest which creates a false impression that the governor will not make it, it is pertinent to tell the world, that the true voice of the people of Cross River State is that Ayade must go on till 2023.
“The vision of an economically viable Cross River State is possible with Governor Ben Ayade and it is common in every state, countries of the world that challenges will come and go in due time.”
Abuo said the governor has done well and deserve the support all people of the state to consolidate on his works in 2019.