By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Cross River Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu has denied claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that he is planning to dump the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Esu, in a statement signed by his spokesman, Mr. Smart Usang and issued Sunday in Calabar described as a “blatant lie,” “malicious,” and the “latest specimen example of fake news,” reports that he will soon join the APC.
The statement made available to CrossRiverWatch read: “The story cannot be substantiated. It is lacking in substance. It is malicious and disrespectful against one of the most illustrious Son’s of the state, a father figure to thousands, who has dedicated over twenty years assiduously serving the State in many fronts.”
Mr. Bassey Ita, the publicity secretary of the APC in Cross River State had in a statement issued on Sunday, claimed that Esu will soon join his party.
Ita who was reacting to the alleged fanfare of the PDP over the recent defection of some APC members to their party had said: “Interestingly, as we fold our sleeves to begin the process of perfecting the much needed change, we will ensure that the PDP would have no breeding ground in the state.
“In fact, we are certain that so many personalities including the State Deputy Governor whose council area has been a victim of a scammed Teacher’s Training College as the only known infrastructure would soon join the APC.
“The same would go for some Commissioners, Special Advisers and Assistants who would not be able to resist the vehicle of change when it moves to replace the regression and retrogression of the PDP government in the State.”
And, Mr. Usang’s statement which described that of Ita as “shoddy,” said that: “While we doubt the credibility of this source of mischievous rumor, let us put on the record that Professor Esu is not a Council chairman or some kind of local politician. For God’s sake he is a Deputy Governor whose constituency is the entire State.
“For one, the texture of your slipshod story shows a long time ignorance about the spiraling growth and development issues in the State.”
It further read: “For the avoidance of doubt the Professor Ayade/Esu avowed mandate in the State has come to stay. No amount of insinuations will dent what is seen as a good deal for the state and country.
“For your information, Professor Esu is the most loyal party man and Deputy Governor in the country with attendant facts in place for all to see. Issues of defection in whatever guise is inapplicable and therefore unattainable.
“Your unfounded story is a handiwork of mischief with disrespect for greatness. The deputy Governor is inundated with the onerous task of supporting his boss Senator Ben Ayade (to) fully translate his laudable vision for the State to practical terms. A gesture he views as sacrosanct.”
Ita had claimed that the PDP is living in the past and aside plans of rigging elections, has only been flaunting the defections of “political liabilities.”
The party said several aides of Governor Ben Ayade have either defected or perfected plans for such for several reasons; a development which the APC said was a slap on the PDP led administration.
The statement read: “We are constrained by the circumstance of the growing media hype to react to the issue of defections across parties for which the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and it’s government now flaunts so conspicuously on media space as its only strategy for elections victory.
“This strategy which appears as the only potent weapon of the PDP aside its multifarious rigging plots is unfortunately, known to us as an inconsequential part of any elections winning efforts.
“The reason is that in the history of political parties and their activities especially in the country, the issue of defections across parties have become a common decimal which no longer becomes a potent consideration for victory.
“It is only the PDP in their archaic way of reasoning that would qualify issues of defection as a very modern and potent strategy for victory.
“We want to place on record that the recent defection into the All Progressives Congress (APC) of thousands of quality politicians and leaders from the People’s Democratic Party would have been one strong point for the APC to make huge political capital of. But alas we have chosen not to look at such issues as a direct consequence or impact for elections victory.
“We could boast for instance that a former National Auditor of the PDP once dumped his former party on account of certain frailties that are inconsistent with democratic and developmental norms.
“We have today amongst the membership of the APC those who were even members of the Senator Ben Ayade led kitchen cabinet whose defection hold a lot of promises for the APC.
“In our wards, local government and State chapter, a retinue of party men and women from the PDP fold who are expressing their disenchantment for the PDP are defecting as a mark of protest.
“In fact, across the senatorial districts, reports of mass defection abound. The increasing crowd at all APC functions and the consequential depletion of the PDP has been very obvious and noticeable.
“When about five aides of the Governor decided to defect to the APC in recent times, did it not inform the PDP that the rhythm has changed? It speaks of so many acts of irresponsibility and distrust on the side of the Governor when his aides show brazen temerity to defect.
“It is therefore ridiculous as it is demeaning to make a political capital out of the defection of some political liabilities like Chief Mrs. Florence Ita-Giwa, among others.*
The party added that: “This defection blues of the PDP is therefore some old wife’s fables.”
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