The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has said the Cross River state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, was regretting defecting to the All Progressives Congress, saying he was giving him ‘quit notice.’
Secondus, who said this in Calabar, Monday, explained that his visit to the state was to commission the PDP new state Secretariat located along Mary Slessor Avenue, inaugurate the State Caretaker Committee and welcome former governor Donald Duke back to the fold.
Flanked by the governors of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, Sokoto Tambuwal Waziri, Deputy governor of Zamfara state, Barr Mahdi Aliyu Muhammed, former Senate president Bukola Saraki, former governors Liyel Imoke, Peter Obi, Donald Duke, National and State Assemblies members, and many other leaders of the party, Secondus said the State remained a PDP state despite the defection of Gov Ben Ayade from the party.
The PDP Chairman said the ‘food on the table’ policy of the Ayade-led administration was a mirage as many Cross Riverians were suffering in abject poverty and deprivations.
According to him, while the Cross River governor was committing a political suicide by joining the APC, “the PDP would soon receive some Governors of the APC into its fold.” He, however, did not mention names of governors he was referring to.
He said, “We are hereby giving Gov Ayade quit notice. Ayade has been governor for six years and hunger is killing Cross Riverians and he is talking of ‘food on the table.’
“Former Senate President, Saraki is reconciling our party men and women and I must let you know that while Ayade is moving, other APC governors are indicating interest to defect from the party of bloodshed. We are taking back what belonged to us in 2023 and I know Ayade must now be regretting.
“In Nigeria, it is only PDP States that are delivering dividends of democracy, today, governor Udom is representing both Akwa Ibom and Cross River in terms of performance, Gov Tambuwal is doing well, Zamfara is doing well and all other PDP States.
“We are coming to reclaim and reposition Nigeria, we have the experience and we are determined to restructure the country. We will restore the dignity of our country. we will restore the dignity of our people, the dignity of our youth.”
Reacting to the ban on Twitter by Abuja, the PDP National Chairman said, “Nobody can stop Nigerian youths from having a voice including on social media whether, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. We are coming to restore the freedom of Nigerians especially the youths.”
Tambuwal, who doubles as Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, in his remarks, said “we are determined to take back Cross River. You have seen the destruction of lives and property APC is unleashing on Nigeria. You have seen the avoidable bloodshed going on but by the grace of God, we will reposition the country and giver our people leadership and the freedom they deserve.”
Also speaking, Gov Emmanuel said “Cross River has a colour and it is PDP,” while Duke, after being officially welcomed to the party by Secondus, said, “I am back, I am back to my home, I did not go too far. No matter what the differences are that you have in a family when your house is leaking you must come back to find a solution and fix it.”
National Assembly members who were present were Senators Gershom Bassey and Sandy Onor, as well as Apostle Essien Ayi, Daniel Asuquo, Eta Mbora, Jarigbe Jarigbe of the House of Representatives.
Some House of Assembly members, Commissioners and Special Advisers, who decided against joining the Governor in APC, were also in attendance.
Some of them who spoke regretted why they pitched their tent with Gov Ayade, saying the government, within the last six years, had deceived Cross Riverians with bogus projects like the superhighway, deep seaport which, they said, had not seen the light of day for years as well as phantom industries which were not working.