Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has denied participating in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial primary in the state.
Reports emerged on Saturday that Ayade who scored 52 votes lost the election to Adams Cecelia who polled 140, while Martin Orim got 61 votes.
The governor reportedly lost his bid to proceed to the Senate to represent Cross River North, after coming a distant third in the party’s primary held in Calabar.
But in a statement issued by his spokesman, Christian Ita, governor Ayade said he did not participate in the purported parallel Senatorial primary, saying that the reports were the handiwork of his detractors.
He said the only valid and recognised senatorial primary in the district was won by the former Chief of Staff to the Governor, Martin Orim and which does not have his name on the ballot.
Ayade said he remains a presidential aspirant under the ruling party and did not involve himself in the Cross River North senatorial district primary election.
The governor stated that he is committed to his presidential ambition and will test his popularity with other aspirants during next month’s APC presidential primary.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Cross River state government has been drawn to a video circulating in cyberspace purporting to be a parallel All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primaries for Northern Cross River where His Excellency, Professor Ben Ayade was listed as a participant.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we hereby state clearly that Governor Ayade did not take part in any senatorial primaries.
“His Excellency is a presidential aspirant who will be taking part in the APC presidential convention now slated for June 6.
“We make bold to say that the so-called parallel primary election as contained in the said video was at best a poorly scripted skit comedy shot by three persons sitting in a room.
“The sham video is indeed a joke taken too far. It was a vapid, infantile but failed attempt at manipulation as the clowns behind it tragically forgot to also manufacture ballot boxes, delegates, observers, and APC panel members.
“It was a handiwork of political desperadoes who are out to embarrass the governor. We wish to assure APC members and supporters, particularly in Northern Cross River, that there was no parallel Senatorial primaries in the district.
“The only valid and recognised senatorial primaries that took place in Ogoja and which was won by the former Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon Martin Orim and which does not have Ayade on the ballot, was monitored by the INEC and representatives from APC’s National Secretariat. The purported video suggesting a parallel exercise should therefore be ignored.”
This article was originally published on Nigeria News