Stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have hailed the defection of Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade, to the party from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

In his reaction to the Auade’s Defection to the ruling party, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, SAN, in his official Twitter handle, described Ayade as an enlightened and accomplished governor.

Keyamo tweeted, “I welcome one of the most cerebral, most progressive, most enlightened and most accomplished governor, Professor Ben Ayade, to the fold of the progressives. As my elder brother and friend from the South South region, this is the day we have been waiting for.”

In the same vein, former Senate Leader and Chairman of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, also congratulated Ayade on his defection to the APC, describing it as a well thought out decision that will be of huge benefit to Cross River State.

Ndoma-Egba, in a congratulatory message to the governor, said that the APC family in Cross River State welcomes the governor with open arms.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, “Your Excellency will recall that Cross River State has always been in the mainstream of Nigeria politics. There is no gainsaying the fact that the past six years of being in the opposition has impacted the state negatively, even though you have consciously navigated the ship of governance in sync with the APC-led Federal Government.

“As a state, we can ill-afford to remain in the opposition. I commend you for recognizing this fact and doing the needful for the good of our dear state. As you join us in the progressives fold, my expectation is that your coming will enrich our internal democracy and I enjoin you to be consultative, inclusive, democratic, transparent and accountable because these are the hallmarks of the APC family.

“I also expect that your presence in the APC will further strengthen the party and improve our electoral fortunes in Cross River State. I have no doubts that the APC family in the state has received you with open arms and will work with you to reposition our dear state on the path of unprecedented socioeconomic and sociopolitical development.”

On his part, a former presidential aide and chieftain of the APC, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, expressed excitement at Ayade’s defection to the party, saying on his Facebook page, “He has done his best for Cross River State, and he is still doing his best. Cross River State has a huge debt profile which Governor Ayade inherited, but Governor Ayade has managed the state’s economy excellently, paying salary and doing projects. I salute him. He is a man of sagacity and courage.”

Also commending Ayade for the move from opposition to the ruling party, the APC governorship candidate in the 2019 election, Senator Owan Eno, said, “We waited with baited breath and measured anticipation.

“I am enthused today, that finally, the rumour has now become a reality.

“The historic nature of your entry into our party is not lost on every well meaning Cross Riverian. It evinces hope and has lit the light of unbridled optimism in the minds of party members and the teeming supporters of our great party in the state and across the nation.

“Your entry into our party at this auspicious time in nation building, a period of profound challenges confronting the nation is remarkable.”


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