At a rally in Calabar, Cross River State, to welcome defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, state governor, Ben Ayade has insisted that PDP in the state was finished and empty.
Ayade who spoke amidst cheers told the crowd that, “the array of political juggernauts joining us in APC today were the men who made PDP thick. Today, they have joined us in APC, so where is the PDP in Cross River? The party is dead. When I turn my back and look at Cross River, from Obanliku to Bakassi, I wonder where the opposition is coming from. PDP in Cross River is finished, it is now an empty shell, APC is in total control.”
Describing the PDP which he quit in May as a haemorrhaging party, the governor said he has the moral obligation to ensure that Cross Riverians do not remain there. The governor stressed that with this defections to the APC, “anybody who wants us to remain in opposition does not wish us well. We have socketed to the centre and APC has come to stay in Cross River. Our state is better off with the APC.”
On rotational governorship, Ayade insisted on the sustenance of the governorship rotational principle in the state which has been in place since the return of democracy in 1999. “It is against this background that I will keep to my words. 2023 is a harbinger of peace, equity and justice so that every one of us will have a sense of equity and sense of balance to maintain and sustain our politics. This will enable everybody to know his turn at every given time,” the governor said.
Bassey Eyo Ndem, an industrialist and a former Commissioner for Lands in the state, who spoke on behalf of the decampees, said he joined the APC for equity and integrity “because His Excellency, at several fora, stood on the principle of rotation and by rotation, he simply means turn by turn. I trust that from everything I have seen so far, His Excellency, the governor, will continue to uphold the ethics which has made the Southern Senatorial district stand by him even in his moment of greatest trial.”
Notable PDP chieftains who renounced their membership and defected at the event include Edem Ekong, a former Commissioner for Lands under former governor Liyel Imoke and a former member of the state House of Assembly, Orok Duke.
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