Finally! Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade, defects to APC


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After months of speculation, the Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, has formally defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr Ayade announced his departure from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday while hosting six APC governors who visited him in Calabar, the state capital.

The visiting APC governors were Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Hope Uzodinma of Imo, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa and Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti.

It is however not clear why the Cross River governor left the platform that brought him to power in 2015. But he has for months complained about being poorly treated by the PDP.

With his defection, Mr Ayade becomes the second governor to decamp in less than six months to dump the PDP and the only APC governor from the South-South geopolitical zone.

It would be recalled that the ruling party had lost its only governor in the zone last year when Godwin Obaseki of Edo crossed to the PDP months to the governorship election in that state. He won reelection on that platform.

With Mr Ayade’s defection, the APC now has 21 governors, while the PDP has 14 and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) one.

Mr Umahi left the PDP last November citing “injustice” meted out to the South-east by the party as the reason for his departure.

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