President Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed doors with Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja,
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the President met separately with the two governors as Ayade was visiting the Presidential Villa for the first time since his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to All Progressives Congress two weeks ago.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the meeting, Ayade emphasised that he left the PDP for the sake of Buhari, adding that the President’s virtues attracted him to the APC.
He said: I moved into the APC because of my personal relationship with Mr. President.“I have watched him and I found honesty, integrity and I see his wish and commitment to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“To that extent, I have a leader that I trust.
“Opposition in the third world means let everything happen that will make the other party look bad.
“I am one of the strong Nigerian Governors who has risen beyond party lines and ethnic lines by virtue of my education and exposure.”
According to Ayade, his decision to join the APC is generating a lot of concern for the PDP occasioned by the fact that it came as a rude shock.
He said: “And sincerely, it is indeed a rude shock because until I defected, I was a very strong member of the party in truth and in spirit.
“And the reality is that PDP had the best result in Cross River – of all the elected offices, all the chairmen of council, all the counsellors, all the National Assembly members, but one, all the chairmen of the local governments, all commissioners, all the appointees, all of them were PDP before I defected.
“So, in terms of performance of PDP, it should be highest performance in the last election in Cross River, which means of all the elected offices, except for one office, PDP cleared all.
“So, for such a governor who led PDP to such a victory to defect to APC, definitely it must come as a very, very rude shock.”
The governor condemned the reported cases of attacks on public facilities by those he described as paid militia and bandits across the country.
Ayadee accused some unpatriotic politicians as sponsors of the attacks, kidnapping and killings of innocent citizens in some parts of the country.
He said: “The increasing insecurity in Nigeria as Nigeria suffers attacks from extraneous aggressors, paid militia and bandits, the opposition party only celebrates that because they believe it gives them a chance to win in 2023.