Nigerian Governorship aspirant and businessman, Engineer Ben Akak, has said his desire to deepen the job creation efforts of the incumbent governor, Ben Ayade, is at the heart of his aspiration to emerge the next Cross River State governor.
Addressing journalists in Government House shortly after holding consultations with Governor Ayade over his intention to succeed him, Akak said as an investor in the state his destiny is tied to Cross River and he will deliver if elected governor.
“I love Cross River State. I’m very passionate about the state. I think my destiny is tied to this state. All my businesses and all my investments are here in Cross River. Everything is here, so there is no way I will not want the state to work because if Cross River state goes down, I go down too,” the governorship hopeful stated.
On continuity and Governor Ayade’s achievements in areas of job creation and industrialisation, Akak admitted that the governor would be leaving behind a big shoe but promised he would wear it and continue from where he will stop.
His words: “I’ll tell Cross Riverians the truth the way it is and that is, Governor Ayade’s shoe is big, that’s the truth. It’s a big shoe but we’ll wear the shoe and it will fit. We will wear the shoe in a such a way that Cross Riverians will be impressed and proud of us”
As a youth himself, he pledged to allow young people to express themselves if elected governor as “our present governor has done”.
Akak who is so far one of the youngest politicians to have formally joined the 2023 Cross River governorship race said that as a job creator, an employer of labour and a manager of men and resources he was eminently qualified for the state’s topmost political position.
“If as an individual you can create jobs and you can pay salaries of about 1, 200 persons, I mean, you’re as well running a government.
“I speak to you as an individual who, without a godfather, without anybody, has been able to set up businesses and investments and successfully run them”, he enthused.
Hinting at running a people-oriented and welfarist government, Akak maintained: “When the state was in dire need of partnership when everybody was consigned indoors by covid 19, the Ben Akak foundation was there for the people. That is to show you a glimpse of what we will do differently.
“We are in touch with our people, we cannot abandon our people. We love our people, we are ready to be there for them at every point”.
The APC governorship aspirant described his youthful age as being in tandem with the Cross River tradition as regards the governorship seat.
“You know, Cross River State has been noted for producing very young leaders. The man who laid the foundation for our state, General U. J. Esuene was 37 when he became the military administrator, Brigadier-General Dan Patrick Archibong was 38 when he become military governor, Clement Ebri was 38/39, Donald Duke celebrated his 40th birthday as a governor, Governor Liyel Imoke and our beloved father, Ayade became governors at young ages.
“So, Cross River State has been noted for producing young leaders, I’m not going to be the first. It’s just that ours is going to be unique because it will be a transition from Ben to Ben”, he concluded.