Following the defection of the governor of Cross River State, Sen. Ben Ayade, to the All Progressive Congress, the People’s Democratic Party in Cross River convened a meeting, on Sunday evening, with leaders and stakeholders in Calabar.

The stakeholder meeting was led by Sen. Liyel Imoke and members of the National Assembly, who took time to react to numerous issues raised in the meeting including the defection of the governor from the people’s democratic party (PDP) to the All progregressive congress (APC) and the state of the party in the state.

Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Ben Ayade

After the governor’s defection to the APC, all three Senators from Cross River State have said they are not decamping with Ayade, and that they remain in PDP.

Out of the eight members of the House of Representatives from Cross River, only Alex Egbona, won on the APC ticket and the PDP had the remaining seven. Of the seven, two honorable members; Hon. Legor Idagbo and Hon. Mike Etaba, have decamped with governor Ayade, while five have said they are not decamping. Rt Hon Daniel Asuquo, Rt Hon. Eta Mbora, Rt Hon. Pst Essien Ayi, Rt Hon. Chris Adibe and Rt Hon. Jarigbe Agom said they will remain in the PDP.

For the 18 LGA Chairmen in Cross River. It is not yet clear where they all stand. But what is clear is that, not all of them will decamp with the governor and it is the same situation with the commissioners. Infact, one of the commissioners, Rita Ayim, is already a member of the new PDP caretaker committee.

Meanwhile, The People’s Democratic Party frowned upon Ayade style of leadership, while referring to him as having turned governance to family business. The PDP also noted that it was for the poor performance of Ayade and the fear for men of the Economic and Financial crimes commission that loed Ayade to the sudden cross-carpeting to the APC.

Sen. Gershom Bassey, Sen. Sandy Onor, Senator-elect Jarigbe Agom, Rt Hon, Daniel Asuquo, Rt Hon Eta Mbora, Rt Hon Pst Essien Ayi, Rt Hon Chris Adibe, Sir Arthur Jarvis Archibong, Chief Mba Ukweni SAN and members of the State PDP caretaker committee led by Barr Effiok Cobham, former deputy governor of the state.

In their reaction, Sen. Gershom Bassey noted that “the PDP is not a personal property of any party man, and whoever attempt to carry the party about in his pocket would be met with great resistance,” Hon Eta Mbora in his reaction noted that “today, we have assured our leaders that we are one and we remain united and unconquered.”

In his reaction Hon Chris Adibe noted that “giving a slave boy power was a mistake, and as a party, we’ll never make that mistake again.” Rt Hon Daniel Asuquo in his reaction noted that, “it takes men of courage to do what these ones have done (those who refused to cross-carpet with Sen Ayade), but attempting to take over the party secretariat is attempting to take our peaceful disposition for granted, and governor Ayade must not provoke peace-loving Cross-Riverians to rise up and fight back over the numerous cases of impunity against the people.” Dansuki as he was fondly called added that, “we will appraise the performance of the governor local government to know what governor Ayade has done in Cross River State.”

Speaking, Senator Sandy Onor reacted thus, “how can a man leave an umbrella during the rains to pick up the broom? adding that the move to the APC of governor Ayade is completely personal and does not represent the good people of Cross River State.

Sir Arthur Jarvis Archibong, Chancellor of Arthur Jarvis University also reacted, “well, cross carpeting was a choice, that we all have accepted, but that the state PDP secretariat was converted to APC secretariat is capable of sparking reactions from several quarters, and surely, if not for the Judiciary staff who have been on industrial action, several court injunctions would have been out by now, but come 2023, the PDP will definitely take over power from the APC.”

Senator Liyel Imoke also took a swipe at the issues, his words, “it pains me that the poor performance of Ayade mentions my name on several occasions, some even said, I sold a Cross River to Ben Ayade and took 2 billion, what insult, he exclaimed! Senator Liyel continued, we will rebuild the party and bring back those who left for one reason or the other.”

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