Nigeria Decides 2023: C’River APC bigwigs, supporters dump party for PDP
From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The gale of defection sweeping across Cross River has continued unabated as All Progressives Congress (APC) bigwigs and hundreds of supporters have dumped the party for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Leading the pack of recent defectors include chairman of the APC reconciliation committee, Dr Pius Tawo (Boki), former councillor, ward chairman and personal assistants to Governor Ben Ayade, all from Nsofang in Etung.
Before now, prominent APC members and some aides to Ayade namely Chief Ogban Ebock, Sam Bassey, Austine Ibok, Bobby Ekpenyong among others returned to PDP and endorsed the PDP governorship candidate, Prof. Sandy Onor.
Speaking at a town hall meeting organised by political leaders of Cross River central senatorial district to formally adopt Sen. Sandy Onor as their preferred governorship candidate, Dr Pius Tawo, who led hundreds of others to the opposition party, said he opted to join the PDP for “parading the best candidate with capacity, acumen, sound intellectual background, tenacity , experience and sincerity of purpose needed to salvage the state from the present woes unleashed by the prevailing political scenarios in the state”
According to him, “ though I have tremendous respect for Sen. Ben Ayade as my state governor and as a friend, the interest of Cross River is paramount while the moral burden over my personal take at this critical time given the deplorable situation in my state supersedes any selfish affinity.
“I am here to galvanize the needed support to guarantee the victory of the Senator Sandy Onor of the PDP in the forthcoming election because he’s just the best in all index of analysis. It’s pathetic that the political offices bestowed upon some politicians by God is being used in promoting pains, agonies, hardships , hunger and deprivations in our state and beyond.
“Those of them entrusted with the reponsibility of discharging the basic obligations in governance and facilitating socio economic development and prosperity have abandoned it. So, I can no longer bear the agonizing tales ravaging my state in all sectors. My conscience can not longer allow me to be part of such an inglorious legacy for the sake of posterity,” he stated.
He cautioned political office holders to use the privilege given to them to serve humanity judiciously bearing in mind that they will render account of their stewardship to the Almighty God on the judgment day, adding “I had to leave for the PDP because of the antecedents to reclaim and restore our lost glory in my state and country.”
Receiving the defectors, state chairman of PDP, Vena Ikem, commended the bold step taken by Dr Tawo to team up with the PDP in the quest to reclaim the state from the present predicament and enjoined stakeholders of the central senatorial district to ensure effective mobilization for a resounding victory of the party in the polls.
According to him, providence has bestowed the central with the daunting task of restoring our lost paradise from those whose major schedule in power is pilfering our common patrimony for their selfish interest while our people continue to wallow in pains and agonies.
“The onus is now on the people of this district to take the lead in our march to reclaim Cross River. It is the time for every one of us irrespective of political affiliation to raise up and take back our state from the woods.
“While I remain an ardent believer of zoning, secluding anyone on the basis of geography is alien to modern democratic practice.
Ours was to provide a level playing field while delegates voted for their preferred option.”
Welcoming the defectors, the Senator for Cross River central and PDP governorship candidate, Prof. Sandy Onor, promised to bring his wealth of experience to bear in running the state when voted into power.