"Buhari's anti-corruption war is perfect.”says Gov Ayade

Most state governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have adopted an indifferent posture towards President Muhammadu Buhari. There are some, like Gov. Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, who have adopted a more hostile approach, lampooning the president on a daily basis. However Ben Ayade, the Cross River governor, is trying a different tact by continually cultivating the relationship between his government in Calabar and the FG in Abuja.
Cross River remains the only state in the South to have been visited by President Muhammadu Buhari since he became president. On a wet day in late October 2015, President Buhari visited Cross River, where he performed the ground-breaking for the construction of the 260 kilometre Calabar-Ikom-Katsina-Ala superhighway valued at N600bn and a deep sea port in Cross River state.
Buhari in Calabar at the groundbreaking on October 21, 2015
Ayade was full of praise for the president before and during the visit and the president reciprocated. “Our president is long done with politics just as I have, and he is now facing governance and that is why he is the president of the Fed­eral Republic of Nigeria,” said the governor while welcoming the president to the state.
Buhari said the project would create jobs, and reduce travel time from Calabar to neighbouring Benue State and beyond by over four hours.
“That I am here in person underscores the importance the Federal Government attaches to this. It is indeed a significant milestone in the economic and policy of the governor. This is the first groundbreaking under my Presidency. I commend Ayade and his team for their foresight in conceptualising this project.
“I want to assure you of the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure the completion of the project. I promise I will come back to commission it. I urge the governor to ensure work is done on it quickly,” said the president.

After the meeting, Gov. Ayade came out and took a totally different position from his party (PDP) concerning the ongoing war against corruption. Whereas the PDP has maintained that the administration is waging a selective war and witchhunting its members, Gov. Ayade said on Wednesday that “the anti-corruption war is perfect.”
Speaking with state house correspondents, Ayade said the war is necessary because of the pain, frustration and hardship Nigerians have passed through over the years. “It is only obvious that any serious government must take the issue of corruption seriously, and I think that is why today Nigeria is beginning to have national and international image that looks like Nigeria is getting prepared for business. That is why investments are flowing into Cross River State, that is a sign that the anti-corruption war is actually working and it is giving Nigeria the international image that we need.”
Gov. Ayade in a handshake with Buhari at the State House on Wednesday January 14, 2016
Gov. Ayade in a handshake with Buhari at the State House on Wednesday January 14, 2016
There are several members of the governor’s party who may find his moves ingratiating or unnecessary (Ayade was condemned by some after hosting Buhari last year). However as Ayade said at the time, politics is over, it is time for governance. In a nation where the central government wields enormous powers, there are very few who can fault Ayade’s strategy for now.
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