Why I Joined Cross River North Senate Race –Frankbornd

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Young Cross River born business tycoon and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Frankbornd Investment Limited, Mr. Frank Ikemti has hinted that he is joining the Cross River North Senatorial District race under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Ikemti in a chat with newsmen said that although he had always had the ambition of contesting the Senate election, the rumoured interest of the Governor, Sir Ben Ayade and former Vice Chancellor of the University Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu made him shade his ambition initially.

He explained that he is fully back in the race after it became clear that neither the Governor nor Akpagu was running the election as initially speculated.

The Obudu-born businessman and politician said that he is the most qualified and most prepared to fly the APC ticket for the election because he’s coming into the race with enormous grassroot appeal.

“It’s now official that I’m running the Cross River North Senate seat. I delayed my declaration because there were speculations that the leader of our great party, His Excellency, Sir Ben Ayade or Prof. Zana Akpagu were running. They are people I respect so much as my senior brothers and being that we come from the same ward, it felt it was inappropriate for me to contest against them.

However, now that it’s clear they are not contesting, I’m fully back in the race. You know, the Governor recently declared for President which all but end the speculation that he’s running for Senate. Prof. Akpagu too recently withdrew formally from the race”, he said.

On why he believes he’s the right man to win for the party, the Senatorial aspirant said that, “as a young person who is APC flesh and soul, I believe I’m more positioned to win the PDP than anybody. I’ve never joined any political party apart from APC in my life. Before the Governor joined, I was one of the major financiers of the party in my ward and local government. I’ve worked so hard for the APC and I believe this is the time to reward me”.

He maintained that being the only person with businesses across four of the five local governments in the North, if elected, he’ll attract developments that will create more jobs for the youths.

“I’ve created jobs, I’ve people from across the five local government in my employ. I’ve businesses in four of the five local governments in the North. Every local government in the North is my home. My ambition is not to enrich myself but to get a platform where I can continue to contribute more to the development of our Senatorial district. I need a platform that’ll give me opportunity to create more jobs for our people.

I believe that I’ve all it takes to win the election for the APC. We can’t pretend that PDP is not strong. The last Ogoja/Yala byelection has shown that PDP is still very much around therfore, it’s important for our great party to send it best foot forward to win the election and for this election, the only person that can win for the party is me”.

On whether he enjoys the support of the Governor, he said that “well, I’ve not met the Governor. I’m making efforts to see and formally inform him that I have interest in the race. When I meet him, we’ll discuss and I’m confident that I’ll be able to persuade him to see reasons why he should support me.

Check all the Senatorial aspirants, how many of them are below 40? Our former Governor, Liyel Imoke was Senator in his early 30s. Most of the leaders we’ve today got into critical political offices at early age but today, it’s increasingly looking like being young is an offence. I see myself as a bridge and voice for the young people who have sacrificed so much to build this great party. And you know, the Governor is youth friendly, so, he’ll support me”.