By Ayo Kehinde
In the midst of some of his counterparts from Ebonyi, Kebbi, Yobe, Ekiti, Imo, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River on Thursday defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress, APC.
Announcing his defection to the nods and smile from Governors Dave Umahi, Atiku Bagudu, Kayode Fayemi, Mai Buni Mala and Hope Uzodinma, and Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipreye Silva, Ayade said he is committed to joining forces with President Muhammadu Buhari in building “a country we can be proud of.”
According to him; “Having seen and known the president 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.
“We need all governors to recognize that it is not (the) party that matters. It is character, honour, commitment to the vision of this great nation.
“We all need to work as a team … 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 every one 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.”
Mai Mala Buni, chairman of the APC national caretaker committee who led the governors to Cross River, said Ayade will henceforth lead the party in the state.
“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,” he said.
Ayade is the second governor the PDP is losing in recent months, after David Umahi, his counterpart in Ebonyi, also left the party for the APC in November 2020.