A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant and former National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Ahmed Markarfi, says that Cross River governor, Prof Ben Ayade, through his laudable achievement in the state, is investing in the future.
Markarfi stated this at the executive council chamber, Governor’s Office, Calabar, when he paid a courtesy visit on the governor as part of his consultation with party faithful in Cross River ahead of the October 5 and 6 presidential primaries.
“You are investing in the future because we must restructure Nigeria and restructuring of Nigeria involves fiscal federalism. In the immediate, states without oil can be affected in one way or the other, but the foundation you have laid will key in that gap and with support from the centre, you will benefit double as you will join the league of states that have these God given natural resources and it will be well with Cross River,” the presidential aspirant remarked.
Noting that he was not surprise with what he has seen under Ayade’s leadership in the last three years, the former Kaduna State governor stated: “I am not surprised because at your age you have made yourself, so, you must be seeing the future, for if you are not seeing the future, what you have laid on ground and laying on ground in Cross River, you will not do that.” Listing the various industrial interventions initiated by Ayade and the benefits, Markarfi said: “The Rice seeds and seedlings factory will be a source of foreign exchange,” the garment factory with over 3000 employees is aimed at creating jobs,” even as the cocoa processing factory and banana farm will boost export and generate revenue for the state.”
Other projects he listed were, the power plant aimed at boosting industrialisation and making factories self reliant, the deep seaport which will make export business easier and the superhighway which will serve as a corridor while linking the state to the rest of Nigeria. Impressed with Ayade for his inclusion of non Cross Riverians in his cabinet, especially the appointment of Kano-born Musa Maigoro, as the Special Adviser, Non Indigene Affairs, the presidential aspirant remarked: “How I wish the presidency was zoned here this time around because you have shown that you are a true Nigerian and a nationalist,” adding, “on behalf of all the non indigenous communities, I commend you for accommodating them in your administration.”
Touched by the alarming security issues leading to wanton killings and kidnapping in the country especially in the North-East region, Markarfi assured that: “I will be a no nonsense president as far as security and other issues in Nigeria are concerned.” Continuing, the former PDP helmsman affirmed: “I believe in PDP but I believe in togetherness, democracy means coming together, doing things together with mutual respect for each other, that is what you are and what I am, power comes from God, God has given us the brain and knowledge, have clean mind, go in the right direction and he will lead you,” adding, “I believe you are one of our leaders that have the capacity to pilot us to get to where we should be in 2019.”
Responding, Ayade recalled the role Markarfi played when he was the party’s national chairman during his case at the Supreme Court, where the party’s lawyer turned his back on the matter, a situation the governor described as “a great and grave injustice,” as well as “politics that was too huge.”
The governor who at some point broke into tears said: “I cannot forget that night where the forces of darkness conspired to hurt an innocent person. If God did not put him there at that time, it would have been a different story. How on earth would a man prepare to appear before a Supreme Court only to get to the court and see that his lawyer has been changed?”
Ayade further revealed that Markarfi stood on the path of truth and justice and never succumbed to pressure on him as he was also not ready to hurt his conscience,” adding that, “nobody can be more qualified to be a president than that man who believes in what is right.”
To the party delegates , the governor said: “I don’t need to say any more to you. If you have your conscience you know that I have spoken a lot,” and prayed God to continue to bless and reward the aspirant in his endeavors.