Ayade’s Body Language Keeps Suggesting He May Defect To APC, As PDP Governors Beg Him Not To Decamp


Governors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are putting pressure on Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade to abandon his plans to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) (APC).

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, led a delegation to Calabar, the state capital, yesterday to appeal to Ayade to remain in the party.

Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor of Enugu State, met with the Cross River governor at Government House for a two-hour meeting.

Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi switched from the opposition to the ruling party a few months ago, citing disagreements with some PDP gladiators.

The meeting, Tambuwal told reporters, was “fruitful, calm, and constructive.”

“We’ve come here on the mandate of the PDP-GF, which was approved by the National Working Committee (NWC), to engage with our dear brother and colleague, Prof. Ben Ayade, the governor of Cross River State, and the stakeholders of our party here in Cross River on the issues of the contentious congresses held here in the state,” he said.

“We’ve spoken to them, and we have a feeling that, by the grace of God, we’ll be able to fix these problems eventually, and the group will come back together.”

“There were many questions about how the congresses were conducted, and each of us is concerned that we return to normalcy so that the family can be reunited and work together for the common good of Cross River State.”

Tambuwal stated that the meeting’s report will be sent to the PDP Governors’ Forum and the NWC for review, deliberation, and action.

When Ayade met with Bauchi State Governor Bala Muhammad, who had also paid him a visit in Calabar less than two months earlier, he vented his anger. As the state’s party chief, he complained about the injustices he was facing from the national hierarchy.

“I cannot choose to ignore the problems of PDP and decide not to know what to do at the right time,” Ayade said. I talk with justified rage about the constant frustration and nuisance inflicted on our helpless state by outside powers. But what I want is for this to end today.”

However, Ayade’s body language suggested that he could defect to the APC.

18 local government chairmen and their councilors, as well as some governor’s appointees, held a rally in Calabar two weeks ago, declaring that they were ready to “swim and sink with Ayade and would follow him wherever he goes.”

Since last year’s ward and local government congresses, the State PDP has been split into two factions.

In the struggle for control of the grassroots party leaders, Ayade’s group was thought to have been outwitted by the faction supported by the majority of National Assembly members.

The situation has brought the party’s state congress to a halt, as the National Assembly members’ faction refuses to give up the ward and local government victories they have achieved, particularly since the list has been certified by a Supreme Court judgment, which they are displaying.

Following the meeting, Ayade led three visiting governors to the Industrial Park, where they inspected the Calachik State Chicken Processing Plant, Cross River State Instant Noodles, branded KISIMIE Instant Noodles complex, and the rice seeds and seedlings factory.

They were ecstatic with their host’s results, which, despite the economic downturn, has performed admirably, especially in terms of job creation and diversification of the economy.

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