Godswill Edward, special adviser on Sports and Cinematography to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, has indicated interest to contest the 2023 governorship election under the All Progressives Congress.
Mr Edward, who spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Calabar, said his desire to be in the contest is to consolidate on the gains of tourism, rural transformation and industrialisation in the state.
Mr Edward, a son-in-law to former President Goodluck Jonathan, said it is time for a generational shift in the state where youths should brace up and take up leadership positions and demonstrate their capacity in governance.
He said the former governors of the state, Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke, uplifted the state through tourism and rural transformation, while Governor Ayade came with the agenda to industrialise the state.
“It is on that basis that I am running for governor, to consolidate on the gains of tourism, rural transformation and industrialisation.
“My agenda is to consolidate. Let us get what our leaders have done and built over time for the good and growth of the state.
“Let us consolidate on people, policy and infrastructure with a view to getting Cross River working.
“We need to look at all of these and build the confidence of our investors to grow the state,” he said.
On the issue of zoning of the governorship in the state, Mr Edward said he doesn’t believe in zoning. He said the field should be open for all aspirants to show their competence and capacity by convincing the people on what they have to offer them.
According to him, it is wrong to build ethnic divides in the state, adding that Cross River needs a governor for all, not a “regional or zonal governor”.
“We need to raise leaders who are statesmen to lead the state and leaders who are nationalist to unite Nigeria.
“Power should not be restricted to any region for now. I am a Cross Riverian and I am running for the governorship of the state, not for a particular section,” he said.
He promised to revive the tourism sector of the state by ensuring that Cross River receives the highest level of tourism flow.
Mr Edward said if elected governor, he will promote rural transformation and also get the state industries working at optimal capacity to consolidate on the gains of Gov. Ayade.