By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent, Efa Sunday and Deborah Obot
A former Attorney General of Cross River State and Deputy Governorship candidate of the Labor Party in the 2015 general elections, Mrs. Nella Andem Rabana on Wednesday returned to the People’s Democratic Party with a pledge to work assiduously for the reelection of Governor Ben Ayade.
Explaining her reason for returning to the PDP, Mrs. Rabana averred that she has always been an advocate of the interest of her constituents and having seen the performance of the Governor, it was only fitting that she returns and support his reelection bid.
“I was not enticed out of PDP, it was a decision that I made and why did I make that decision? I felt that the interests of the people and the community that I belonged was not served and I left.
“I moved to Labor, but at the same time, I have always said and will continue to say, my State comes first. It is above and should be above all other interests. As a result when the announcement happened and I, that is advisedly and deliberately saying, when the announcement happened, I said Good who enthrones, if He has enthroned someone, that is who I will recognise full stop and who was it? Professor Ben Ayade.”
She disclosed that her departure from the PDP had afforded her the opportunity to view things in a wholistic manner and after her first meeting with Ayade where became convinced that the Governor has a “heart of gold.”
“I have engaged the Professor our Governor, not as PDP but as another party and sometimes for you to have objectivity you need to be standing outside and looking in.I have had the opportunity of standing and I have seen what is outside and I have decided to come back because this is a family,” she said.
“There was something about PDP, there was comradium, there was friendship, there was brotherhood, you felt you are a family, you knew everybody and everybody knew you and you looked out for the other. Things happened, yes, but generally there was comradium and that is what I missed and I say I missed.
“Now, it is a good thing and I thank God for the opportunity not to have being and to have sojourned a little bit. It gave me an opportunity to compare because I believe that when you make a comment, it should be based on something; that is why I love statistics, I like numbers, if I don’t have a number, I will keep quiet; so I have compared and I say where we are in Nigeria today, in our interest, we better go back to PDP,” she added.
On the reelection of the governor, she said, “I came to fight, to make sure and I will fight with others. The point is, we cannot be disjointed,” adding that: “We will not be afflicted with injustice, we will not be afflicted with undue semantics.”
The State chairman of the PDP, Mr. Inok Edim receiving her back to the party, presented a membership card from her ward and said: “From today, on behalf of the PDP family in Cross River State,on behalf of the leadership and by the powers conferred on me as the capacity chairman of Cross River State, I hereby welcome you back to the party and promise you that all your rights will be restored.”
And, the Governor, in his remarks explained that the next elections was more about the peace of the State even as he wondered why some politicians were taking actions that was inimical to the States sociopolity.
“From your house, from your own family, from your own local government, the people come out, everybody comes and says no, we don’t want you this is our son, what he is trying to do is not good. We have given him opportunity for 20 years and we cannot see what he has done. He has always always taken it all to himself and from your own family, they choose to go back and support another person.
“They did not stop at that, they say it is turn by turn. The south had it for eight years, the central for eight years and I have just done only three years plus. If you are in haste to collect it, that is why even if you want to do it for only one term, you will be in haste to hold it back,” he said.
Promising that power will return to southern Cross River in 2023, the Governor averred that: “Any man who says that he will take another man’s turn is not a good person. It is the turn of the north and for you from the south, you know that you 2023 in four year’s time, you are the one to produce the governor; if you allow it to go to the central, it means that you are extending your stay out of office for another 20 years because you have been out for almost 16 as it were if you add my total tenure.
“So, it is for your own good to know that what SAN said today that she returned because for her it is an existential battle, it is about a good Governor who has done so well.”
Also, Ayade who promised that residents of Calabar South local government area will enjoy stable power supply before the presidential polls added that, “Today, I am telling you it is not about politics of PDP and APC, it is about the peace of Cross River State; turn by turn.”
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