Nigerian politician Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade has served as the state governor of Cross River. He successfully ran for governor on the People’s Democratic Party platform in April 2015. (PDP). He previously served in the 7th Senate of Nigeria. He was re-elected governor of Cross River State in the 2019 gubernatorial elections. On May 20, 2021, Ayade announced his intention to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Calabar, the state capital. Mai Mala Buni, the governor of Yobe and the interim chairman of the APC Committee, greeted him.
Early Life and Education
Ben was born on March 2, 1968, in Obudu LGA, Cross River State, to the late Mr Peter Akinsheye Ayade and Mrs Beatrice Ngayi Ayade, the Ayade Dynasty’s patriarch and matriarch. He is from Kakum Village in Nigeria’s Cross River State’s Ipong Ward of the Obudu Local Government Area. His parents were both devout Catholics. His father worked for the water board as a government employee.
Benedict Ayade attended St. Stephens Elementary School in Obudu for primary school before transferring to Government Secondary School in the same Nigerian city for secondary school.
Ayade attended the University of Ibadan in Ibadan, Nigeria, from 1984 to 1988, where he earned his B.Sc (Honours). He earned his M.Sc. in microbiology (1989-1990) and his PhD in environmental microbiology (1990-1994) from the same University of Ibadan, where he also received the Best Doctoral Dissertation Award in Environmental Microbiology. Ayade earned an MBA from Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, between 2000 and 2002. Ayade is a lawyer who earned an LLB in law from Delta State University, Abraka (2006–2010).
Before being promoted to professor, Ayade worked as a lecturer at Delta State University in Abraka. As a result of his work in Nigerian groundwater restoration, Ayade created a solar-powered sewage treatment facility. Following his educational career, he was appointed to serve in various capacities in Cross River state before running for the Senate in 2011, and later becoming the state’s governor.
Ben Ayade worked in various government ministries, departments, and agencies before running for the Cross River North senatorial district and later becoming the state’s governor. Among them are the Chairman of the Ecological Fund, the Chairman of the International Institute of Environmental Research, the Member of the Strategic Policy Advisory Council, the Member of the Nigeria Association of Petroleum Engineers, and the Member of the Cross River State Poverty Alleviation Board.
Ayade entered politics in 2011 when he ran for a seat in the Nigerian Senate as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party. Ayade was elected with a total of 91,123 votes. During his Senate tenure, Ayade served as vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology. He also served on several committees, including Petroleum Downstream, Education, and Drugs/Narcotics/Crime.
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, Odey Ochicha, with 53,983 votes. Ayade recontested in the 2019 gubernatorial elections as a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and was re-elected as the governor of Cross River State. On May 20, 2021, Ayade announced his decision to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ayade is married to Dr Linda Ayade and has three children. His hobbies include reading, playing and watching games, as well as dancing.
Awards and Nominations
- Ayade was awarded the 2016 Vanguard Governor of the Year.
- Ayade was awarded the 2019 Champion Newspaper Governor of the Year.
- Ayade was awarded the 2020 Leadership Newspaper Governor of the Year.
- Ayade was also awarded the Blueprint Newspaper Governor of the Year for Agro-industrialization 2021.
- On August 24, 2019, Ayade was invested as a Knight of St. John (KSJ) International by the Roman Catholic Church at Sacred Heart Cathedral, the seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Calabar.
Ben Ayade is a wealthy politician who has amassed a lot of wealth for himself. His estimated net worth is unknown.