The governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has explained why he dumped the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Ayade, a professor, on Thursday, joined the APC at the Cross River State Executive Council Chamber, Governor’s Office in Calabar, after a two-hour meeting with seven APC governors led by the party’s interim chairman and governor of Yobe State, Mala Buni.
Giving reasons for his action, Mr Ayade highlighted the character attributes of President Muhammadu Buhari and the realisation that Cross River, which has been emasculated economically following the ceding of its oil wells years ago, needed to be in sync with the party at the centre.
“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,” Mr Ayade said.
“We need all governors to recognise that it is not party that matters, It is character, it is honor, 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 the worries the international community has for us.
“I believe that if everyone of us as governor joins hands with Mr President, I think we can sit on the same dining table and fashion out a way to govern this country.”
Mr Buni, while speaking on Mr Ayade’s defection, said he and his team were in the state to formally welcome the governor to the APC.
“I am here on behalf of the APC family to welcome His Excellency the Executive Governor of Cross River State formally to the APC. As from today, he is the leader of the party in the state,” Mr Buni said.
Other APC governors who witnessed the event were Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Solomon Lalong of Plateau State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and his Jigawa state counterpart, Mohammed Abubakar.
Also present was the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylvia.
Others at the meeting were the state deputy governor, Ivara Esu, Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Eteng Jones and some members of the National Assembly.
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