2023: Ayade Says The South Should Produce The Next President
After President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight-year term expires in 2023, Cross River Governor Ben Ayade believes it is time for Southern Nigeria to produce the country’s next president.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
Ayade said this when Sen. Bola Tinubu visited him at the Government House in Calabar, according to a statement issued by Mr Bayo Onanuga, Director, Media and Communication Tinubu Campaign Organisation on Wednesday in Abuja.
Tinubu is a major presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is a former two-term governor of Lagos State and one of the party’s top leaders.
The concept of zoning, according to Ayade, was born out of a desire to achieve an equal and balanced distribution of power across the country.
“Zoning is a provision of our Constitution to ensure balancing, it should not be about ethnic or regional domination, but balancing. It’s the turn of Southern Nigeria in 2023,” he said.
The governor went on to say that the country was in desperate need of transformation and a new approach.
He expressed sadness that, despite Nigeria’s potential as the world’s seventh largest oil and gas reserve, the government was still importing petrol to fulfil domestic demand.
Tinubu, he said, is a transgenerational leader and political strategist who possesses the capacity, experience, and exposure to lead and is more than equipped to be Nigeria’s president.
Ayade believes Tinubu will go down in history as the guy who brought the APC to power in 2015, emphasising that the party’s leader was a cornerstone of the party’s success throughout the years.
He stated he had a long-standing good connection with Tinubu and that he always got his counsel on matters when he asked for it.
“Thank you for your insensitivity to party affiliation, to age difference, to religion and to ethnicity,” Ayade said
“Mine is to respect you as you respect me.
“I appeal to you as your senior brother and the first to declare his intention, not to endorse me today but when you get to Abuja, you can endorse me fully.
“We must have that unity of purpose, we must work together not only for the unity and economic development of Cross Rivers, but also of the country.
“We owe that to the present and future generations,” the statement quoted Tinubu as saying.
If Tinubu is elected as the country’s next president in 2023, he has committed to cooperate with the state to complete the construction of Calabar Port.
Tinubu was accompanied on the tour by Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, former Nasarawa State Governor Sen. Tanko Al-Makura, and former Borno State Governor Sen. Kashim Shettima, according to a statement.
According to the statement, Tinubu was accompanied on the tour by Senate Leader Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba, Presidential Aide Malam Yau Darazo, and Chairman of TETFUND Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam.
It was reported that the APC leader had previously met Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, who praised him as a great power broker and APC leader.
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