The ranks of the All Progressives Party (APC) Governors in Nigeria has notched up by one as Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State dumped the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) giving reasons of aligning his state with the government at the center. He becomes the only governor from the South South geo-political zone to belong
The ranks of the All Progressives Party (APC) Governors in Nigeria has notched up by one as Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State dumped the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) giving reasons of aligning his state with the government at the center.
He becomes the only governor from the South South geo-political zone to belong to the APC. Hitherto, the zone was a solid block for the Peoples’ Democratic Party, especially after the defection of Governor Obaseki of Edo State. His exit had, however, been long anticipated as he is said to have a frosty relationship with some of his fellow PDP governors from the zone.
Governor Ayade announced his defection after a meeting with six APC Governors who also had dinner with him in Calabar last night. In his remark at the brief ceremony, Governor Ayade said he joined the APC “out of the need to bring Cross River State in sync with the policies of the Federal Government.
“Having seen and known the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his commitment to this country, his nationalistic disposition and all the efforts he has made to bring Nigeria to where we are today, it is obvious that at this point we needed to join hands with him to build a Nigeria that we can be proud of.
“I believe that if everyone of us joined hands with the President, I think we can sit on the same dining table and fashion out a way to govern this country. We need all Governors to recognize that it is not party matters. It is character, it is honour, it is commitment to the vision of this great nation.
“We all need to as a team, work ahead of the President by working towards building a prosperous country that the succession worries of 2023 will come without the fears and worries the international community has for us”.
In a quick reaction, the Chairman of APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention, Governor Mai Mala Buni declared Governor Ayade leader of the APC in Cross Rivers State.
The occasion was witnessed among others by APC governors Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Solomon Lalong of Plateau State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu Kebbi State and his Jigawa State counterpart, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar. Also present was the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva.
Others were the deputy governor, Prof Ivara Esu, Speaker of the state house of assembly, Rt. Hon. Eteng Williams Jones and members of the State House of Assembly and some National Assembly members.