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A frontrunner among APC presidential aspirants, Bola Tinubu, has appealed to Governor Ben Ayade, who is also seeking the ruling party’s presidential ticket, to be behind him at the June 6-8 national convention.

Mr Tinubu also reminded the Cross River governor that he is the “senior brother.”

According to a statement by Bayo Onanuga, the director of media and communication of the Tinubu Campaign Organisation on Wednesday, Mr Tinubu said this when he visited Mr Ayade at the Government House in Calabar.

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According to the statement, Mr Tinubu told the governor who is also running for president on the platform of APC, that there was no collision in their desires.

“Mine is to respect you as you respect me. I appeal to you as your senior brother and the first to declare his intention, not to endorse me today but when you get to Abuja, you can endorse me fully,” Mr Tinubu told Mr Ayade. “We must have that unity of purpose. We must work together not only for the unity and economic development of Cross River but also of the country.”

Mr Tinubu promised to work with the state for the full development of Calabar port if elected the next president in 2023.

The Cross River governor described Mr Tinubu as a trans-generational leader, political strategist and that he had the capacity, experience and exposure to lead the country and said history would be kind to Tinubu as the man who propelled the APC to power in 2015, stressing that he is a cornerstone of the party’s success over the years.

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Mr Ayade said he had a long-standing excellent relationship with Mr Tinubu, adding that each time he sought his advice on issues, he always got it.

“Thank you for your insensitivity to party affiliation, age difference, religion and ethnicity,” Mr Ayade told the APC national leader.

Mr Ayade also mentioned that it was the turn of Southern Nigeria to produce the country’s president in 2023 after the expiration of the eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari. He explained that the idea of zoning came about to ensure an egalitarian and equitable power-sharing in the country.

“Zoning is a provision of our constitution to ensure balancing, it should not be about ethnic or regional domination, but balancing. It’s the turn of Southern Nigeria in 2023,” he said.

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The governor added that the country was in dire need of change and a new way of doing things and noted that with Nigeria’s potential as number seven in the world in terms of oil and gas deposits, it was regrettable it imports fuel to meet local demand.

The statement said Mr Tinubu was accompanied on the visit by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, ex-Governors Tanko Al-Makura, and Kashim Shettima. Others were Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, presidential aide Yau Darazo, and TETFUND chair Kashim Ibrahim-Imam.

It added that the APC leader had earlier visited the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, who described him as a great power broker and a great leader of the APC.


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