From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has stated that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is dead and buried in the state, urging the APC to unite and take over by 2023.
Ayade defected to the ruling APC on Thursday, May 20, and on Saturday, May 22, he took over the PDP secretarait and painted it in APC colours, which has generated ill-feelsings between him.and his former party.
Addressing APC stakeholders meeting at SPAR Event Centre in Calabar at the weekend, Ayade noted that by his defection and judging from the array of APC chieftains present at the event PDP is dead.
his former party, the PDP was dead and buried in Cross River because “anyone who is not here is nowhere.”
According to him, APC would do everything possible to win in 2023 as there is zero opposition in the state following his defection and massive movement of his aides.
He said: “I want to assure you that no one seat ranging from councillorship, noise of Assemnly and national assembly would go out of APC in Cross River in 2023 as the election would be like there is a zero opposition.
“On the day of election, APC would for every elective office seat down down and decide who takes what and where because I play politics of intellect.
“Since l left PDP thers is zero opposition in Cross River. Sice l left PDP, the party is dead and buried in Cross River because anyone who is not here is nowhere.”
And barely twenty hours after the APC stakeholders meeting, Ayade has sacked about 8 aides including for commissioners and four special.advisers said to be loyal to PDP.
In a press statement signed by Christian Ita, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Governor, Ayade said Mr Mike Usibe, Rita Ayim, Mr Asu Okang and Ntufam Donatus Etim all commissioners have been relieve of their appointments just as Mr. Leo Inyambe, Rt Hon Orok Otu Duke, Mr. Victor Okon (Alausa) and Mr John Etim Bassey have been similarl as special advisers.
According to the release, the affected persons are directed to return government properties and vehicles in their care with immediate effect to the Chief of Staff to the governor
Meanwhile, letters made available to Daily Sun showed that some of the afrxywd aides had submitted their resignation letters to the Governor through the secreatey to the state governemnt office (SSG) between May 21 and 30 but the governor refused to acknowledge it and rather decided to sack instead.
For instance, a letter by Mr Donatus Etim, the former commissioner for Climate Change and made available to our correspondent and dated May 22 stated that he has resigned from being a member of the state executive council.
The letter was addressed to the SSG and was acknowledged. And following the acknowledgement, the SSG order that he returns the office vehicle attached to him which he did last week.
Sources close to other appointees revealed that most of then have equally sent to their resignation letters as at last week, but the governemnt refused to acknowledge it and rather decided to go public today just to embarrass them.
Sources close to PDP revealed that the affected aides are die-hard followers who are willing to swim and sink with PDP amd therefore ot was not surprising at the development and encouraged others to be steadfast amid the defection of the governor.