4th June, 2021
By Ismaila Chafe
Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade says he left the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the sake of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ayade spoke with newsmen after meeting with Buhari behind closed door in Abuja on Thursday.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the meeting, Ayade emphasised that he left the PDP for the sake of President Buhari, adding that the president’s virtues attracted him to APC.
‘`I moved into the APC because of my personal relationship with Mr. President. I have watched him and I found honesty, integrity and I see his wish and commitment to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“To that extent, I have a leader that I trust.
“Opposition in the third world means let everything happen that will make the other party look bad.
“I am one of the strong Nigerian Governors, who has risen beyond party lines and ethnic lines by virtue of my education and exposure,’’ he said.
According to him, his decision to join the APC is generating a lot of concern for the PDP occasioned by the fact that it came as a rude shock.
“And sincerely, it is indeed a rude shock because until I defected, I was a very strong member of the party in truth and in spirit.
“And, the reality is that PDP had the best result in Cross River – of all the elected offices, all the chairmen of council, all the counsellors, all the National Assembly members but one, all the chairmen of the local governments, all commissioners, all the appointees, all of them were PDP before I defected.
“So, in terms of performance of PDP, it should be highest performance in the last election in Cross River, which means of all the elected offices, except for one office, PDP cleared all.
“So, for such a governor who led PDP to such a victory, to defect to APC, definitely, it must come as a very, very rude shock,” he said.
The governor condemned the reported cases of attacks on public facilities by those he described as paid militia and bandits across the country.
He accused some unpatriotic politicians as sponsors of the attacks, kidnapping and killings of innocent citizens in some parts of the country.
“The increasing insecurity in Nigeria as Nigeria suffers attacks from extraneous aggressors, paid militia and bandits, the opposition party only celebrates that because they believe it gives them a chance to win in 2023.
“So, opposition becomes very cannibalistic. So, you rejoice over the bloodbath in your country, you rejoice over the level of insurgency and killings in your country just because you are playing opposition.
“The country is snowballing into a civil strife. We need to come together and support Mr President to overcome the insurgency which is characterized by external militias, who are paid for the purpose,” he stated.