Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade, who became the latest governor to defect from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said he took the step to re-classify his state.
He told visiting APC governors and leaders inside the Executive chamber in Calabar where he was received into his new party: “Recognizing the role of Cross River State; a state that has been reduced to want in body, spirit and in soul; a state whose revenue and resources had been taken; a state whose territorial boundaries has been tampered with. It is my responsibility to re-socket Cross River State to the centre.
“I, therefore, on behalf of the entire people of the state, to the extent of those that believe in the philosophy of peace, unity and progress, that Cross River State is today formally declared as an APC state.”
Ayade directed the state executive council members, members of the House of Assembly, local government chairmen and other stakeholders, who were present at the declaration, to go to their different wards and register as APC members.
Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi on November 16, last year, moved to the APC from the PDP while Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki defected on June 18, 2020, the eve of the governorship election, defected from the APC to the PDP. He won his re-election.
Ayade’s defection was hailed by Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, former APC National Vice Chairman (Southsouth) Hillard Etta, Kwara State chieftain Saliu Mustapha and Chief Obono-Obla.
The PDP chided him for jumping ship.
It advised the Cross River chieftains to ensure that the structure of the party was kept intact.