Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has disclosed that he was seeking re-election against the wishes of his wife who he said had warned him against continuing in office beyond May 2019.
The Governor made the disclosure, Friday, during the commissioning of the official headquarters of the Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative (CROWEI), an umbrella body for all women associations in the state, established by his wife, Dr Linda Ayade.
He said his wife has severally cautioned him not to think of seeking re-election next year, maintaining that she has been very worried over the type of unwholesome politics played in the State and was therefore wondering that it was going to endanger him or dent his hard earned reputation.
The Governor explained that his wife, who is a medical doctor and works in a hospital in London, would rather want him to just take one term and forget going to complete eight years since he was too sincere and humane to dabble into dirty politics.
“Each time we wake up and commune with God, my wife will always be worried over the type of politics played in the State, saying it is not too good for a man of my standing and that I should not go for my second term. I have assured my wife that I can make it, and that Nigerian politics can be made to have human elements; that we cannot all leave it for others to bastardise it”, Ayade said.
The Governor also said he was giving employment to at least 200 women and that beneficiaries would begin to receive salaries with effect from September 2018, and that he was giving out the sum of N5 million to be shared on the spot to the women present who came to rally support for him towards his second term bid.
According to him, he came to government with the sole aim of enhancing the lives of the people, particularly women, which reason the factories he has established have mostly employed widows and other women as a way of putting foods on their tables.
“This is not playing politics. When it comes to that I know how to play such politics but I had sworn to my God that I will do all in my power, with my wealth, to better the lives of the indigent people, including women. This is why I usually go all out to accommodate women. I have given more appointments to women. I am again giving all the widows, at least, the 200 here in this arena, express appointments, and their salaries should begin to run from September”, he said.
He said he will do his best to implement the 35 percent affirmative action, adding “it is because of the feeling I have for women and my resolve that I say again that I will never sack any female appointees in my government.”
He directed women to always channel all their demands and challenges to the office of CROWEI, and that they should regard his wife as their comforter. He thereafter donated a 32 seated bus to the association.
In her remarks, Mrs Linda Ayade said that after consulting widely with women across the state under the CROWEI umbrella, women in the state want the Governor to return for second term despite her stand on her husband’s re-election.
She said CROWEI was not only aiming at emancipating Cross River women economically but to increase their political awareness.