|Birth||2 March 1969|
Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade, (born 2nd March 1969), is a Nigerian politician and the current Governor of Cross River State since 29th May 2015. He ran successfully for the office of Governor in April 2015 on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Before that, he was a member of the 7th Senate of Nigeria.
Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade was born on the 2nd of March 1969 to the family of Mr. & Mrs. Peter Akinsheye Ayade, a native of Kakum, a village in Obudu LGA, northern Cross River State. His parents were both devout Catholics. His father worked as a public servant with the water board.
Young Benedict Ayade received his primary education at St. Stephens Primary School, Obudu and proceeded to Government Secondary School, Obudu, Nigeria.
He earned his B.Sc. (Honours) in Microbiology at Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Nigeria (1984 – 1988) and proceeded to the University of Ibadan (1990 – 1994) where he obtained his Ph.D., winning the Best Doctoral Dissertation Award in Environmental Microbiology. Ayade went on to work as a lecturer at Delta State University, Abraka where he was subsequently appointed Professor.
From his work in groundwater remediation in Nigeria, Ayade invented a sewage treatment plant powered by solar energy. The technology he developed is currently being used off-shore by oil-producing companies operating in Nigeria.
- 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
Ayade ventured into politics when he ran for a seat in the Nigerian Senate beating his closest rival, Patrick Agbe of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), with over 80,000 votes in the April 2011 elections. Ayade roundly defeated his rival with 91,123 votes who received only 11,056 votes.
During his term in the Senate, Prof. Ayade held the position of Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology. He was also a member of other Committees such as Petroleum Downstream, Education,Drugs/Narcotics/Crime etc. Senator Ayade was one of the leading voices in the Senate and a prolific legislator, having sponsored a total of 41 bills he was ranked highest among his peers in the 7th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2011-2015). Among the bills he sponsored 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. Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade won the gubernatorial poll again on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 2015 elections in Cross River State having polled 342,016 votes ahead of the All Progressives Congress candidate in the state Mr.Odey Ochicha with 53,983 votes.
On taking up office as Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade launched several important infrastructure projects, including a 260 km dual-carriage Calabar-Katsina-Ala superhighway, Calabar deep seaport, and a Calabar garment factory, all of which were projected to employ thousands of people. He also unveiled plans to build three new cities in the State. The superhighway encountered some opposition from environmental activists who complained that road was to pass through a forest reserve and that an Environmental Impact Assessment was not done before construction started.
Ben Ayade is an accomplished scholar and speaker at numerous high-level events such as the Summit organised by the United Nations Secretariat for Climate Change when he led African Governors to the climate change negotiations in Paris in December 2015.
Family and personal life
Ayade is married to Dr. Linda Ayade and has 3 children. His hobbies includes reading, playing and watching games as well as dancing.