Rising from an enlarged meeting at the Ogoja council hall, Cross River State traditional rulers from the Northern Senatorial District, have endorsed the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade for a second term in office.
Led by the paramount rulers of Obudu, Uti Joseph Davies Agba; Yala, Ogamode Onah Ipuole; and Ogoja, Ochu G D Odu, the royal fathers called on other senatorial districts in the state to allow the zoning relay to be completed.
According to Uti Agba said, "Ayade's predecessors all had their first and second terms, his should not be an exception as we pray that his party should hand over the flag to him."
“As traditional rulers, we are fathers, offering blessings to our children and politicians. We are not forced to stand by this, for even the blind can feel Ayade's numerous achievements across the state. Let him complete his second term and we pray that God grant him the grace to fulfil all the good works he has started."
To other governorship aspirants from the northern senatorial district, Agba who is among the oldest monarchs in the world admonished: "be patient, if it has not reached you, it has not passed you."
The paramount rulers of Yala and Ogoja in their different speeches, enjoined all to work assiduously in order to actualise the feat, appealing to the Obudu monarch to reach out to the southern and central senatorial districts of the state to urge them to respect the zoning system by allowing Ayade complete his second term.
Odu said: "We did not decide to be born in northern senatorial district, rather it was the wisdom of God for such to happen. This is our turn as the south and central have all served two terms each. We are supported here by our ancestors that we speak for, please this is our turn. This zoning system had been working, let it work roundly."
Clan head of Bedia, Chief Tony Undiaundeye aligned with the position taken by the royal fathers, stressing that "the South through Donald Duke had a straight eight years while the Central through Liyel Imoke had its share of another eight years. So there is every need to allow the zoning relay to complete with Ayade serving his eight straight years in office."
Undiaundeye who remarked that Ayade remains the preference for Cross River, said he came with a clear vision opening up new farm roads, collaborating with Agricultural development banks to ensure that the roads are surfaced dressed with various industrial projects spread across the 18 local government areas of the state.
On whether sons and daughters from the zone eyeing the seat will be sanctioned, the Bedia clan head said, "no one else is serious about running elections. They are political buccaneers. They tried in 2015, had no basis and fell off, they are just seeking recognition."