Prof. Ben Ayade, the governor of Cross River State, decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday.
Ayade formally declared for the ruling party at the Cross River State Executive Council Chamber, Governor’s Office in Calabar, following a two-hour meeting with seven APC governors led by the party’s interim chairman and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
When asked why he left the PDP for the APC, Ayade cited President Muhammadu Buhari’s character traits and the realization that Cross River, which had been economically emasculated since the ceding of its oil wells, needed to be in line with the central party as the key reasons for his decision.
His words: Having seen and known the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his dedication to this country, his nationalistic character, and all of the efforts he has made to get Nigeria to where it is today, it was clear that we needed to join hands with him at this point to create a Nigeria that we can be proud of.
“We need all governors to recognize that it is not the party that matters. It is a character, it is an honour, it is a commitment to the vision of this great nation.
“We all need to as teamwork ahead of the president 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.”
Buni confirmed the news, saying he and his team were in the state to formally welcome Governor Ayade to the APC.
Buni said: “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 of today, he is the leader of the party in the state.”