By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Attempt by Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade to bribe two governorship candidates has been exposed.
Ayade allegedly made the desperate efforts to force them to step down for him, including offering them millions of Naira, but they refused.
This was disclosed by Pastor Charles Okoi, governorship candidate of Alliance for Social Democrat (ASD) and Chief Ofem Ubi (MPN), governorship candidate of Mega Party of Nigeria in an interview.
He alleged that they were approached by the governor to step down and endorse him, saying “i told Ayade to go home with his money”.
The two governorship candidates disclosed this while stepping down for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator John Owan-Enoh during a rally in Boki local government area.
Charles Okoi, who was the first to speak said “i had vowed not to step down for anybody, but because of the great work Owan-Enoh has been doing in the Senate for the people of the Central Senatorial zone of the state, I have no option but to step down for him”.
He added, “let me say this that Ayade actually approached me and gave me money to step down for him but I refused. I refused because I cannot step down for somebody who has nothing to show in his almost four years of leadership”.
“When he gave me the money, I looked at my conscience and said to myself that I cannot be associated with failure and no amount of money will satisfy my conscience. I am stepping down for Owan-Enoh willingly and I am doing so because of his pedigree, Okoi said”.
“While promising to work for the success of Owan-Enoh, the governorship candidate of ASD decried the attempt by the governor to return for a second term through what he called “money politics”,warning that the state will continue to experience setbacks if the people refuse to reject such enticement.
On his part, Chief Ubi alleged that the governor called him several times “to beg” him to step down and join forces with a few people to endorse him “but I told him that if I collect his money, my conscience will not forgive and that our people will not want to continue with a bad government”.
He noted that he was ready to make a huge sacrifice by stepping down for Owan-Enoh because, according to him, “T
the APC governorship candidate is currently the best candidate in the state and given his achievements, he is the person to take the state to greater height.
Owan-Enoh, who was excited by the action of the two governorship candidates thanked for stepping down for him, promising that he will not disappoint the people of the state.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to governor Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita, however, debunked the allegation, saying that “governor was campaigning to return to power on the strength of his achievements and has no reason to bribe anybody”.