- Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state might be on his way to the APC
- This is due to the refusal of Senator John Owan-Enoh to appeal against the recent judgement affirming Ayade's electoral victory
- Owan-Enoh was the APC governorship candidate in the 2019 general elections
A report by The Guardian suggests that Cross River state governor, Ben Ayade, might be on his way to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to the report, rumours are rife in the state that Governor Ayade is on his way to the APC after the opposition's governorship candidate in the state, Senator John Owan-Enoh dropped his intention to appeal against the recent judgement of the Cross River state governorship tribunal.
The tribunal had reaffirmed Governor Ben Ayade as the duly elected governor of the state.
Ayade is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
An APC chieftain in the state quoted in the report said, “We saw it coming. The recent visit (of Ayade) to the presidency in the name of obtaining the federal government’s approval of an Outline Business Case (OBC) for the Bakassi Deep Seaport is just a smokescreen.
“The main issue was most likely the cross-over to APC, as the powers-that-be in the presidency might have put pressure on Owan-Enoh to drop his appeal.
“I see this as a strategic and double victory for Ayade because when he crosses over to APC, automatically, a safe haven is guaranteed in case of any future disturbance by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when he leaves office in 2023.”
A political analyst, Femi Balogun, however, told Legit.ng that he does not believe the governor will defect.
His words: “If Governor Ayade defects to the APC. It will be a huge political gamble as Cross River is traditionally PDP state.
“The governor himself is not a very strong politician, remember that he is an academic, so it is not guaranteed that many PDP chieftains in the state will follow him to the APC
“We saw what happened with Godswill Akpabio in neighbouring Akwa Ibom state. The ruling party in those states are on ground so it will take an extraordinary effort to wrestle power from them.”
Meanwhile, a political activist, Pascal Oluchukwu has criticised the governor of Ebonyi state, Dave Umahi, for issuing a gag order banning all public officers and employees of the state government from expressing any opprobrium against the government.
He also said the action of the governor, “brings to the fore his thoughtless sycophancy and ignominious search for the attention and gratuitous commendation.”
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