APC members congratulate Ben Ayade
Governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich State, Cross River has defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Governor Ben Ayade announced his decision on Thursday morning during a meeting with six APC governors at the Government House in Calabar.
The governors were led by the national caretaker chairman of the APC and Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, who was accompanied by Kebbi, Imo, Plateau, Ekiti, and Jigawa State governors.
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Speaking during the defection, Ayade said, “We need to join hands with President Buhari in his determination to enhance the fortunes of the country.
“I need all governors to similarly join me and understand my decision to join the APC.
“We need to work ahead with the president for the future and unity of Nigeria. We all need to sit at the same dining table with Mr Presidential to save Nigeria.
“It is my responsibility to bring back Cross River to the centre in order to enhance her fortunes.
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“I therefore formally declare myself a member and leader of APC in Cross River State.”
The Punch reported that Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, who was the former Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly, said the decision of the Governor is a “Right move in the right direction. Where the leader of the state goes, I go with him.”
The Secretary to the State Government, Tina Banku-Agbor in her reaction said “the Governor has taken the right decision. We give him the chance. He is the right leader.”
Meanwhile, this development represents a significant setback for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, which had hemorrhaged membership since losing the Presidency in 2015 after 16 years of rule.
His defection makes Cross River the only state to have been captured by the ruling party, as battle for the 2023 Presidency gets underway.