By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has reaffirmed his commitment to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) despite rumors that he is planning a defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The rumors which have simmered down since his return from a two week vacation filtered across the state with suggestions that he was going to announce his defection at a planned welcome rally for him.
Over 300 support groups in the PDP are said to have planned the event which held at the Calabar Municipal council grounds but only Mr. Ayade, his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu and the coordinator, Mr. Lebo Lebo mentioned the party in their addresses.
While Mr. Lebo only hailed those present with the party’s slogan: “PDP! power to the people,” Mr. Ayade used the slogan once and mentioned the party once in his address.
He said: “Today we are gathered here as a great party, the Peoples Democratic Party. We are committed to the course of the party. We are committed to the focus of our people.
“We are ready to make a change. And that change is ideological, philosophical, morphological (and) classical.
“We have realised that there is no amount of infrastructure development that is above the destiny, the food on the table and a family government that brings young men and women to have access to governance.
“It is that catalytic profile that has brought about this large crowd that we are having here.”
Ayade who commended the reception welcoming him from vacation continued: “I made a choice of some songs to just give us an appetite and wet us and give us the elixir and the bizarrezar and the glamor and all the glitterati that can give us a feel that indeed, you have welcomed your digital governor back. If you know the way I am dressed, you know I am prepared for the politics.”
Other PDP members who spoke failed to use the party’s slogan including top functionaries in Mr. Ayade’s government such as the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Tina Agbor.
There was no item marked with PDP to prove the event was one for the party as several social media users observed.
Excluding Mr. Ayade’s deputy chief of protocol, Mr. Sylvester Abang and two others who wore a shirt marked with PDP, the only other thing close to PDP was a flag painted red, white and green.
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