By Patrick Obia
Weeks after Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River defected from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress (APC), more of his aides have resigned declining to defect with him.
The Governor has also sacked another commissioner, Francis Etta who refused to defect with him.
Among those who have resigned recently are Barrister Mark Obi, the Special Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals and Mr. Cecil Ita, the Director General of the Urban Renewal Commission (South).
And, on Tuesday, a statement by Mr. Ayade’s Spokesman, Christian Ita said the Governor had approved the relieving of the appointment of Mr. Etta as the Commissioner for Special Duties.
This brings the tally to five commissioners out of 39 whom have been sacked for refusing to defect.
Meanwhile, Mr. Obi in a two-paragraph letter said as a founding and subsisting member of the PDP he, “cannot in good conscience remain in my current appointment as Special Adviser” as an opposition hence, cannot betray the Party.
The lawyer however, thank Mr. Ayade for the opportunity given to serve the State and pledge to support the development of the State.
“Following recent happenings in the political alignment of the State Governor, I am persuaded to review my involvement in the current State administration. Consequently, being a founding and subsisting member of the People’s Democratic Party in Cross River State, I cannot in good conscience remain in my current appointment as Special Adviser.
“I hereby resign my appointment as Special Adviser effective immediately. I am grateful to Your Excellency for finding me worthy to serve the State in the said capacity. Nevertheless, I will continue to support the State and Government in any way possible as a stakeholder and senior citizen. Please accept my best regards,” Obi wrote.
For Cecil Ita, the resignation came after a period of consideration.
“After a period of consideration, I have decided to remain with the PDP. Let me thank His Excellency, Sir Ben Ayade, Governor, Cross River Sate for the opportunity given me to serve our beloved State, first as Director General, Cross River State Scrap Regulatory Agency and then Director General Urban Renewal Commission (South).
More defections are expected to be announced in the following days as political watchers say the political scene is getting interesting in the State.
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