By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade was absent at the unity rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to welcome hundreds of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) members whom had defected to the APC with him in Obudu.
Mr. Ayade was railroaded into the APC a few weeks ago, after a lengthy battle with some PDP members over the control of the party in the State.
To show control, several means were devised for his aides to defect alongside him included claims that they will not be paid. And, Commissioners who stayed back after several resigned alongside other top aides and Local Government Chairmen, have been organising rallies to welcome defectors in what is supposed to be a show of strength to the PDP.
However, he was missing at the rally in Obudu with the minister for State power, Mr. Goddy Jeddy Agba taking charge to welcome the defectors and unite old and new members of the APC.
FearlessReports reports that Agba, who arrived Obudu at about 9:00AM in company of the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, delayed going to the rally venue till about 12:30PM with the hope that the Governor was coming.
He will be informed at the J.A Agba memorial sports stadium that Mr. Ayade will not be attendance and when introduced to address attendees, expressed joy that the State was now in APC and hoped the Governor will work with others to win the 2023 polls.
“The essence of a political party is to win elections and bring development to our people. This is why I am very excited that my brother, the Governor and his supporters have joined us, and this is why I abandoned all other functions to be here today to welcome them formally and tell them that we are one and ready to work together to move our Local Government, State and country forward.
“There are a lot of benefits connecting to the center but I will advice that they should be fair and just and treat everybody with respect and dignity. We are happy that we are a ruling party now but will be happier to win our own election in 2023. With the Governor and if the party stay united, I am very sure that we will deliver the state hundred percent in future elections,” Agba said.
On his part, Mr. Usani encouraged more Cross Riverians who are yet to identify with the party to do so, and declared, “APC has come to stay.”
“We welcome our Governor and all those who have joined us in the progressive family. I an here to encourage, support and also tell them that they’ve made the best decision. I will encourage them to work in synergy with others to build a united and strong party that will be able to win the next election landslide,” Usani said.
Earlier, the Chairman of council, Bonniface Eraye, averred that Obudu was already APC even as he expressed optimism that it will remain so beyond 2023, a situation he said was possible if more members join the party.
“We need to register to join hands with our leader, the Governor, our brother, the Minister and President to develop our state and the country,” Eraye said.
Below are images from the rally by Oto-Obong Clement…
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