Who Is Governor Of Cross River State 2020
A Ph.D holder and one of the most educated governors of this time, Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade, now a politician, is the serving governor of Cross River State under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) since he took office 2015.

BIOGRAPHY
Current Age: 52 years
Hometown: Kakum village
Alma-mater: Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma; University of Ibadan and Delta State University.
Educational Qualification: BSc (Microbiology); MSc (Microbiology); Ph.D (Environmental Microbiology); LLB.
Political Party: People’s Democratic Party
Terms In Office: 2nd term running till 2023
Deputy: Ivara Esu
Marital Status: Married to Dr. Linda Ayade

Ayade was born on 2 March 1968 to the family of Mr. & Mrs. Peter Akinsheye Ayade of Kakum village in Obudu, Cross Rivers state. His family was middle-class as his father worked as a public servant with the Water Board. Both his parents were devout Catholics.

He attended St. Stephens Primary School, Obudu and Government Secondary School, Obudu for both his primary and secondary education respectively.

He graduated from Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma (1984 – 1988) with a Bachelor degree (Honours) in Microbiology, He later went to the University of Ibadan (1990 – 1994) to obtain his M.sc in Microbiology (1989 – 1990) and subsequently his Ph.D in Environmental Microbiology. He got awarded for having the ‘Best Doctoral Dissertation’. Coupled with these titles, Ayade is a lawyer, who earned LLB Law Degree (2006 – 2010) from Delta State University.

Ayade is married to Dr. Linda Ayade and their union is blessed with 3 children.

EARLY CAREER

As an academician, Ayade was a lecturer at his alma mater, Delta State University, Abraka, where he worked until he became a Professor.

One of his remarkable works as a lecturer was his sewage treatment plant powered by solar energy invention in groundwater remediation in Nigeria.

Ayade served in quite a number of appointed positions including Chairman of Ecological Fund; Chairman of International Institute of Environmental Research; Member of Strategic Policy Advisory Council; Member of Nigeria Association of Petroleum Engineers; Member of Cross River State Poverty Alleviation Board.

He is also a high-profile speaker, who has appeared in several recognized events locally and internationally. One of such is the Summit organized by the United Nations Secretariat for Climate Change when he led African Governors to the climate change negotiations in Paris in December 2015.

POLITICAL JOURNEY

Without prior experience in politics, Ayade had his first shot in politics in 2011 when he ran for a seat in the Nigerian Senate and won under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party having polled a total of 91,123 votes. While a serving senator, he was Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, member of Petroleum Downstream Committee, Education Committee, Drugs/Narcotics/Crime Committee all in the 7th National Assembly.

He was said to have facilitated several bills in the Senate among which are Nigerian Naira Stabilization Bill, Nigeria Expatriate Quota Control Bill, Job Creation and Protection Bill, Federal Scholarship Commission Bill, Petroleum Refineries Bill, Green Cities Development Bill, EFCC Act 2003 Bill, and National Energy Bill.

Ayade was there until 2015 when he decided to up his game and contest his state governorship election. Again, he had a successful run and emerged governor with 342,016 votes to defeat his All Progressives Congress rival, Odey Ochicha, who scored 53,983 votes.

In 2019 general, he contested for his re-election and won.

PROPERTIES

According to unverified reports, Ben Ayade’s net worth stands at 400 million dollars ($400,000,000). But whether that is true or not, Ayade’s net worth could be over a billion considering accumulated wealth from his academic research, food and banking business as well as his political career in Cross River State. He also receives gratuities from his work in academia.

AWARDS/RECOGNIZATIONS

  • 2016 Vanguard Governor of the Year.
  • 2019 Champion Newspaper Governor of the Year.
  • In August 2019, he was invested as the Knight of St. John (KSJ) International by the Roman Catholic Church, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Calabar Archdiocese.
  • The Japanese government recognized him with an award for outstanding research into Global warming in Africa.

CONTROVERSIES

Upon assumption of office in 2015, Ayade quickly dabbled into various constructions like a 260 km dual-carriage Calabar-Katsina-Ala superhighway. This project attracted a lot of criticisms from environmental activists who bashed him for his failure to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment before starting the construction. This was following the discovery that the road was to pass through a forest reserve.

Sometime in May, a video of Ayade crying went viral online. In the video, Ayade was inaugurating an anti-tax agency to enforce tax exemptions for the largely poor people of the state struggling to make ends meet when he broke into tears, saying he was sad because he wasn’t able to actualize much of his plans in the first four years in office. Many saw it as hypocrisy and an attempt to seek the people’s sympathy despite his government failures.

In September 2020, Ayade presented the state’s budget, tagged ‘Blush & Bliss’ for 2021 to the House of Assembly. Starting from the title of the budget to the efforts put into his outfit, looking so fleek, Ayade was dragged for being more interested in show-offs and ceremonial parades than he is in real issues of governance.

He is one of the governors of this present crop who is considered as having the best photo-ops. Always ready for the camera.

Being one of the youngest governors after Yahaya Bello, Ayade has been ostracized by the youths, who consider him a disappointment. He has, however, noted that his 2021 budget is all about the youths.

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