The Cross River Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Calabar has validated the election of Ben Ayade of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Reacting, Ayade described the tribunal judgement as a mere reaffirmation of his resounding victory at the March 9, 2019 governorship poll.
The governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, said he was not surprised at the verdict since his victory was never in doubt.
“As I did when I won the governorship election of March 9, by dedicating my victory to God, the great people of Cross River State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family, let me once again rededicate today’s tribunal verdict which explicitly reinforced the will of the people to them.
“I had no doubt that I would emerge victorious at the tribunal. I have never lost faith or confidence in our judicial system.
“I was very confident that the tribunal would be diligent and upright in determining the petitions brought before it and it did just that today and I am happy, Cross Riverians are happy and I am sure that even the petitioners will be happy that the tribunal has acquitted itself.”
Insisting that the affirmation of his election by the tribunal will further embolden him to deliver on his campaign promises, Ayade said: “Today’s judgement is no doubt a call for a redoubling of effort, energy, kinetics and gusto to consolidate on what my administration started four years ago, which is the aggressive industrialization of the state.”
Ayade was declared the winner of the March 9 governorship election by The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ayade, who won in all the 18 local government areas of the state, won the election with a winning margin of 250,323 votes.
He polled 381,484 votes to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC) that polled 131,161.