Gov. Ayade upholds zoning says the zoning principle in the State since 1999 must be sustained | CABLE REPORTERS

Stalwarts of Peoples Democratic Party and their supporters from the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State on Thursday defected to the All Progressives Congress.

Speaking at a rally in Calabar to welcome the defectors, Governor Ben Ayade said the governorship rotational principle in the state which has been in place since 1999 must be sustained.

Going by the principle, southern senatorial district say it is its turn to produce the governor in 2023.

He described PDP as a haemorrhaging party, adding that he has the moral obligation to ensure that Cross Riverians do not remain there.

“It is against this background that I will keep to my words. zoning is a harbinger of peace, equity and justice so that every one of us will have a sense of equity and sense of balance to maintain and sustain our politics. This will enable everybody to know his turn at every given time,” Ayade said.

He continued, “When I turned my back and look at Cross River-from Obanliku to Bakassi- I wonder where the opposition is coming from. PDP in Cross River is finished. It is now an empty shell. APC is in total control.

“Anybody who wants us to remain in opposition does not wish us well. We have socketed to the centre and APC has come to stay in Cross River. Our state is better off with the APC.

“The array of political juggernauts joining us in APC today were the men who made PDP thick. Today, they have joined us in APC, so where is the PDP in Cross River? The party is dead.”

The defectors included an industrialist, Architect Bassey Ndem, who said after receiving the symbol of the party which is the broom, said he joined the APC for equity and integrity “because His Excellency, at several fora, stood on the principle of rotation and by rotation, he simply means turn by turn.”

“And I trust that from everything I have seen so far, His Excellency, the Governor, will continue to uphold the ethics which has made the Southern Senatorial district stand by him even in his moment of greatest trial,” he continued.

Other PDP stalwarts who defected included a former Commissioner for Lands under former Governor Liyel Imoke, Barrister Edem Ekong and a former member of the state House of Assembly, Orok Duke.

Also at the defection rally were APC leaders and government officials such as Deputy Governor, Ivara Ejemut; Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly: Joseph Bassey; and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa.

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