By the end of this week, Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade would have emerged candidate of the APC for the Cross River North senatorial district election, following the withdrawal from the senate race by Mr Martins Orim who had earlier won the primary election.
Orim is the current chief of staff to the governor. He contested for and won the APC senate ticket but was recently compelled to surrender the ticket to his boss, a development that TNN learnt, did not sit well with him initially.
At a recent meeting with some of the party leaders in Abuja where Orim was told that he would need to pull out of the race to enable the governor contest, Orim was said to have expressed displeasure that he was not given prior information that he would not run the election.
He was said to have said that the party was not fair to him, especially after he was allowed to get into the race. He was also said to have asked for compensation. TNN could not immediately confirm if he was compensated before he agreed to withdraw for the governor.
TNN had reached him and requested for a meeting or a telephone interview. He accepted but the interview did not hold again as he did not take his calls thereafter.
A fresh primary is being arranged to hold this week, where the governor will be formally endorsed as candidate for the election. When he emerges, he will have Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe to contend with. Jarigbe is candidate of the PDP for the same election and is believed to be very popular in the north.
It was Jaribe who wrestled power from and sent Dr Steve Odey out of the senate, after a tight bye-election and legal battle that eventually led to the ouster of Odey from the National Assembly.
Ayade gave Ody all the support for the election but his candidate lost out, giving Jarigbe the position. It is the same position that he wants to return to, in 2023.