Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has pledged to work harder in his second term in office in his bid to ensure total transformation of the socio-economic landscape of the state.
Speaking at the preinaugural thanksgiving service held at St. Charles’s Lwanga Catholic Church in Calabar, Ayade who was full of praise to God for a successful end of first tenure reiterated his commitment to banish poverty in the state.
He said, “I committed myself by expanding government to ensure that at least a member of each family was represented in my government to earn salary. I kept faith in spite of daunting challenges. It was not by my might nor my power but God saw me through, which is why we have come to return all glory to God almighty. We are also here to thank the Almighty because in anticipation that He will see me through in the next four years.”
While pledging his unwavering commitment to the welfare of the people, he assured that his “commitment to the people of Cross River will be stronger as we begin the second journey of transforming the state from a third-class world to the first class through aggressive industrialization drive.”
He acknowledged the dedication, understanding and commitment of his wife in the last four years, saying “she has been the source of my strength as her prayers have kept me going.
“The inspiration that I have to put food on the table was driven by the circumstances of her own history. Today we have come together as a state to thank God for his unending love and show of love in spite of our short comings in the last four years”, he added.
On his election victory, Ayade said, “Never in the history of Cross River State has a governor won every single polling unit in an election. For the first time we had a fantastic result. It was not by our power but by the power of God that we recorded such a landslide victory and I must once again thank the good people of Cross River State for the show of love and confidence in my capacity to transform the state.
“The whole world knows that I took over the mantle of leadership at a very trying moment given the economic recession, political tension and deep paralysis, yet we enjoyed absolute peace, ecclesiastic calmness and tranquility that allowed me to focus on my commitment that no child should go to bed with an empty stomach through the expansion of government.”
On petitions against his re-election, the governor called on his opponents to toe the path of politicians in Enugu State who withdrew their cases against the governor because they all belonged to the same Christian faith.
He continued: “The main contending parties in the tribunal are Catholics and I believe that the leadership of the Catholic Church in Cross River State has a duty to call us to a round table to settle the case.
“For me as a Catholic, I have extended my hand of fellowship and will never bear any grudges against anyone for whatever reason arising from the election or any other matter.”
In his homily, Rev. Father Bob Etta who spoke on the theme, “Peace” drawing his text from the book of Acts 15 and Revelation 21, emphasized the need for political actors to follow the path of peace.
He commended the governor for his developmental strides as well as prompt payment of salaries despite the state getting about the least allocation from the federation account.
The service which was attended by the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu, Chief Judge, Justice Maurice Edem, Peaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. John gall Lebo, Nattional Asembly Members and the enlarged members of the state executive council saw the governor’s wife Mrs. Linda Ayade reading the first lesson while wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Omotala Ivara Esu took the second bible reading.
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