Former Senate President and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Senator David Mark, says, he will offer maximum support to projects initiated by the Cross River government should he become Nigeria’s President next year.
Mark who was in Calabar, Thursday, as part of his nationwide consultation to party delegates ahead of the October 5/6 presidential primaries this year, also described the various projects initiated by Prof Ben Ayade’s administration as models that will change the face of the state and nation.
Accompanied by his team including former first lady of Niger, Senator Zaina Kure who is his campaign Director General, during a courtesy call on the governor, Mark said: “If I become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will give you and the entire Cross Riverians maximum support in all these projects that you have embarked on. They are model projects that will change the face of not only Cross River but the entire country and bring them to the level that we aspire and desire all the time when we go out of this country.”
He said his promise to help the state should not surprise anyone given that “I share borders with Cross River and my senatorial district in particular shares borders with Cross River, what else will be more better than a superhighway from Cross River that winds up in Benue?”
On the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, Mark pledged to revisit the issue.
“I know that Bakassi is very dear to every Cross Riverian; I think that we need to also tackle it while ensuring that Bakassi is given its rightful place in the state.”
Mark who commended Ayade for his industrialization drive in the state maintained that with the loss of oil wells, the governor’s introduction of new innovations and wonderful ideas were timely as only these would generate revenue to sustain the state while creating employment for the youths and women.
“Your industrialization policy is commendable especially when you take a look at the fact that you no longer send cocoa seeds to other states, now you process them into finished products that you can market, add value to the products thus employing so many youths and providing employment for so many people,” he added.
The former Senate president who also recalled the governor’s days in the 7th Assembly, pointed out that “Ayade introduced over 40 bills and that was a very unique achievement,” adding, “several times he had good ideas that were digital and model, so, I am not surprised that he brought the same pace to bear in governance here in Cross River.”
On why he is seeking to become President, he said: “I have the capacity and political willpower to take decisions that will move this country forward if given the opportunity as President. Please consider me as one of your own. Be proud of this one who is one of your own and add me to those your dream projects that you will handle very well.”
Responding, Ayade affirmed that restructuring was the only way the state and nation will survive as almost all presidential aspirants have continued to stress on it as a major focus of their administration.
According to him, “the decoupling of Cross River from oil dependency must start now and you can only fulfill that when you have a President who understands the projects and aspirations of the state and for a person who is also a direct beneficiary of the superhighway which terminates in his own senatorial district.”
Continuing, Ayade said of Mark’s “commitment is total, his loyalty and faith in this country which he fought to keep as one will be manifest on assumption of office as the president of this country,” adding that, “he has shown that there is parity between men and women as he is the first aspirant to come here with a woman as DG.”
On his legislative track records, the governor described Mark as one who identifies capacity, gives support to a shinning star by making it more brighter, a disciplined legislator who will not allow the legislature to be rubbished, adding that, “by the time he gets an executive position, because he is well informed about the powers and privileges of the legislature, you will not see the infighting between the executive and legislature which is the key to the political stability of this country.”