By George Odok/Calabar
Deputy Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Joseph Bassey, has officially defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) following the defection of Gov. Ben Ayade.
Bassey told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview on Thursday in Calabar that the governor’s move has crumbled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
He said that the governor was moving to the ruling party with all members of the State House of Assembly, Commissioners, elected local council chairmen, councillors and over 6,000 political appointees in the state.
“I have already moved with the governor. Cross River is now an APC state and the House of Assembly has also moved with the governor.
“We just have to help Cross River residents by aligning with the centre.
“Cross River receives the least allocation from the Federal Government and this is not good enough.
“In the past six years, Cross River has been an opposition party; this is the first time we are missing touch with the centre.
“We don’t have oil wells, our allocation is low. Ayade has tried in using his intellectual capacity and ability to attract some federal government presence into the state.
“We are left with two years in this administration and we must align with the centre for the interest of the state,” he said.
Bassey said that the state needed federal government’s support for the superhighway, the deep sea port and other projects that the governor had initiated.
“For somebody like Ayade who has gone far to appoint over 6,000 persons into his government, it will be a difficult moment for PDP in Cross River.
“I think today marks the official burial ceremony of PDP in Cross River and this will affect the national because I see other governors joining the APC soon.
“With this movement, some of our people can now get better appointments at the centre. For us in Cross River we have moved,” he said.
Ayade officially joined the APC at a ceremony in Calabar on Thursday.
It was attended by Gov. Mai Bala-Buni of Yobe, who is the Caretaker Chairman of APC and other five other governors