C/River NASS members refuse defecting into APC with Ayade

Cross River State federal lawmakers elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have said that they will not follow the state Governor, Prof Ben Ayade to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The lawmakers said the governor did not consult them before defecting to the APC, maintaining that they would not have dumped the PDP even if the governor had consulted them.

Governor Ayade had on Thursday announced his defection to the APC after months of consultation with some leaders of the ruling party.

The lawmakers, at a media conference in Abuja on Friday, described themselves as legacy members of the PDP, reiterated their commitment to the main opposition party.

In an address read on behalf of the lawmakers by Senator Gershon Bassey, the legislators said Ayade’s defection will not affect the fortunes of the PDP in future elections, especially the 2023 general election.

“As far as I know, till date the National Assembly caucus remains intact. I don’t see any of us leaving. We are legacy members of the party who have been in this party for the past 15 to 20 years. So the short answer is no, we are not going anywhere.

Read Also; We did everything to keep Ayade in PDP – Gov Ishaku
“We were not consulted and I am not sure a lot of people were consulted,” Senator Bassey said.

Speaking earlier, a former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, said the exit of the governor from PDP was regrettable but that it did not come as a surprise as it was not unexpected.

Imoke added that the people of Cross River have stood with the PDP since 1999 and that they are not ready to join the governor in the APC.

According to him, the people of Cross River State have expressed disappointment with the governor’s defection, having won three elections, including the governorship on the platform of the PDP.

Imoke said: “Given the overwhelming support which he enjoyed under the PDP and the fact that PDP has undeniable strong grassroots in the state, we affirm that Cross River state remains a PDP state.

“An overwhelming majority of Cross River State people are PDP members. Our key stakeholders, members of the National and State Assemblies and strategic grassroots mobilizers, are still members of our great party. We as a party therefore remain virile and strong.

“Our shell remains uncracked. The leadership of Cross River state under the aegis of PDP since 1999 has led the state to a pedigree of progression and seen to the attainment of all the lofty achievements the state has been known for.


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