Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the country have continued to hail the defection of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State to the party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a reaction to the governor’s action via his official Twitter handle, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, described Ayade as an enlightened and accomplished governor.
“I welcome one of the most cerebral, the most progressive, the most enlightened and the most accomplished govs, Professor Ben Ayade to the fold of the progressives. As my elder brother and friend from the South-South region, this is the day we have been waiting for,” Keyamo tweeted.
In a similar vein, the former Senate Majority Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, also congratulated Governor Ayade on his defection to the APC, describing the defection as a well thought out decision that would be of huge benefit to Cross River State.
In a congratulatory message to the governor, the former Senate leader said the APC family in Cross River State welcomes the governor with open arms.
“Your Excellency will recall that Cross River State has always been in the mainstream of Nigeria politics. There is no gainsaying the fact that the past six years of being in the opposition has impacted the state negatively, even though you have consciously navigated the ship of governance in sync with the APC-led Federal Government,” the former senator said.
“As a state, we can ill afford to remain in the opposition. I commend you for recognizing this fact and doing the needful for the good of our dear State. As you join us in the progressives fold, my expectation is that your coming will enrich our internal democracy and I enjoin you to be consultative, inclusive, democratic, transparent and accountable because these are the hallmarks of the All Progressives Congress family.
“I also expect that your presence in the APC will further strengthen the party and improve our electoral fortunes in Cross River State. I have no doubts that the APC family in the state has received you with open arms and will work with you to reposition our dear state on the path of unprecedented socioeconomic and sociopolitical development,” Ndoma-Egba assured.
On his part, a former presidential aide and chieftain of the APC, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, expressed excitement at the defection of Governor Ayade.
“He has done his best for Cross River State, and he is still doing his best. Cross River State has a huge debt profile which Governor Ayade inherited, but Governor Ayade has managed the state’s economy excellently, paying salary and doing projects. I salute him. He is a man of sagacity and courage,” Obla posted on his Facebook page.
APC governorship candidate in the 2019 election, Senator Owan Eno, said that the party had anticipated the move.
“We waited with baited breath and measured anticipation. I am enthused today, that finally, the rumour has now become a reality,” Eno said.
“The historic nature of your entry into our party is not lost on every well-meaning Cross Riverian. It evinces hope and has lit the light of unbridled optimism in the minds of party members and the teeming supporters of our great party in the state and across the nation.
“Your entry into our party at this auspicious time in nation-building, a period of profound challenges confronting the nation is remarkable,” he added.
Ayade, it would be recalled, early Thursday dumped the PDP for the APC, after he had hosted some APC governors to a dinner at the Government House, Calabar on Wednesday night.
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