Cross River Governor Ben Ayade has justified his decision to return to university to earn a Master’s degree in Law, The Nation reports.
His decision to return to school has generated mixed reactions at different quarters across the state.
The state chairman of the leading opposition party in the state, the All Progressive Congress, Sir John Ochalla, slammed the governor’s decision saying, “any serious-minded Governor will not leave governance for school, and that the state had been handed over to an unserious person”.
But, Ayade through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, responded in a release with the heading, “Cross |River APC ignorant, jaded”.
It reads: “This morning, I read in the newspapers that the Cross River State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had taken issues with the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade for returning to school to pursue a Master’s degree in Law.
“The assertions credited to the APC chairman, John Ochala , are as laughable and pathetic as the party itself in the state. The party in the state is notorious for lies.”
“ Ochala’s statement shows clearly that he has lost touch with reality or that he deliberately wants to misinform the people”.
“At this point let me remind Ochala and the APC that, in 2017, one of the most influential Governors in APC, Mallam Nasir El’rufai, started a PhD programme in Philosophy in Governance and Policy Analysis at United Nations University-Merit, UNU-MERIT, Netherlands. Till date, El’rufai is still running.
“It’s funny that a party like APC which prides itself as a major opposition cannot engage the Governor on governance issues but chooses to lie to score cheap political points.
“If they didn’t see anything wrong with El’rufai returning to school in the faraway Netherlands, what then is wrong if Gov Ayade returns to school to add to his numerous degrees within Calabar, the state capital?”
“The timing of Gov. Ayade’s decision to return to school is unequivocally perfect. Unlike APC members, the Governor, despite all the resources at his disposal didn’t choose any foreign University.
“He decided to do it locally thereby boosting the reputation of Nigerian Universities at a time tertiary institutions in West Africa are under attack.
“Need I remind Ochala and the APC also that, the Chief Whip of the Senate and member of the APC, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu was an undergraduate student while serving as Abia State Governor.
“For APC to lie to Cross Riverians that no serving Governor in the history of Nigeria has ever returned to school is unfortunate. Maybe, they just don’t have the guts to commend the Governor for patronizing Nigeria University.
“Ignorantly, Ochala also lied that Gov. Ayade didn’t go to school while in the Senate. This is very shocking. Gov. Ayade was elected Senator in 2011 and later that year enrolled in Nigeria Law School, Abuja and was called to Barr in 2012.
“Clearly, APC cannot withstand Gov. Ayade’s unprecedented quest for knowledge hence the lies. It’s instructive to let them know that Cross Riverians know them better now which is why the party was rejected overwhelming in the last general election.
“Their infantile attempt at opposition won’t distract Gov Ayade who is committed to making the state the nation’s industrial hub”.