By Richard Romanus
For some months now, they have been stories of Governor Ben Ayade dumping his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). The move according to different analyst and commentators is to enable him get a second tenure. And am I like, Are you serious! How then did Ex Governors like Peter Obi and Adams Oshiomole among other managed to get second tenures without dumping their various parties in their various States?
As a matter of fact, In Edo, Nobody gave Adams Oshiomole a chance for obvious reasons. One, he was said to be disrespectful to the elders and the political kingmakers of the State. Two, it was assumed that, he was contesting against three major forces, the then Federal Government, The Godfathers of Edo and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer, Major General Charles Airhiarvbere, who were bent on unseating him at all cost. Today, the rest is history as the Comrade Governor as he was then called against all odds, won a landslide victory in that election scoring a total of 477,478 against his closest rival who polled 144,235 from the 647,698 total votes cast.
If you ask me, three things went in favour of Governor Oshiomole in that election which to me, remain an election winner anytime anyday. God, the people and the uncompromising stands of the then President. After an excellent performance in his first term, the Governor was able to win the hearts of the people and by extension ‘God’ couple with the fact that, he was lucky to have a President who had zero tolerance for electoral injustice.
Why then do people feel, it is until Governor Ayade joins APC that his his second tenure aspirations can be realise? I have always maintained that, Senator Prof Ben Ayade is among the very few Governors in Nigeria who can contest and win elections in any platform he deems fit courtesy of the various developmental and people oriented projects he is vigorously pursuing. His detractors wants Cross Riverians to believe that, the Governor and everything that he is doing or planning to do is a scam and a hoax but even his greatest critic agrees that, if one of the many ideas he has,comes to bare like it is gradually coming to bare, the State will be better.
Imagine the Economic impact a Super Highway or a deap Seaport can have on the Economy of the State and the People! Imagine how many unemployed youths will be taken out of the streets when the Cross River State Garment factory reaches full potential! Just imagine! But No, some people in the name of opposition will rather prefer to die than see the realisation of this projects. It’s been petitions upon petitions, lies upon lies,social media attacks on the Governor and his administration yet, the man has remained undeterred and unperturbed in his resolve to deliver his campaign promises to the people which to me, is what matters. No wonder his aide on Branding and communication came up with the brand ‘Think Cross…River’.
I still cannot understand why a smart and performing Governor like Sen Prof Ayade will contemplate leaving certainty for uncertainty which is what his rumoured defection from APC to PDP depicts. A man who as at today, has the support of the Civil Servants, youths, women and a majority of Cross Riverians cannot be scared of going into elections on any platform as he is been portrayed.
Like Barr Venatius Ikem, an APC chieftain wrote a few days ago on his Facebook page in reaction to the alleged defection of the Governor and 2019 politics, “In politics, Tricks don’t last, Horse trading does”. The Truth is, politics like every other game, has its tactics for winning. As a long time player of the game with several laurels to show, Governor Ben Ayade knows which of the above tactics to apply in order to give him a second term and should not be mistaken for a novice like some people will want us to believe.