– Says Gov Ayade after meeting Buhari
By Egena Sunday Ode
About two weeks after his defection from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Cross Rivers State Governor, Ben Ayade formally met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
He was led to the President by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Buhari’s Chief of Staff.
Sparking with newsmen after the meeting, Ayade said “I moved into the APC because of my personal relationship with Mr. President. I have watched him and I find 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. 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.
“So, opposition becomes very cannibalistic; so you rejoice over the bloodbath in your country. You rejoice over the level of insurgency and killings in your country just because you are playing opposition. The country is snowballing into a civil strife.
“We need to come together and support Mr. President to overcome the insurgency which is characterized by external militias who are paid for the purpose. I know very clearly that they have basic interest in our natural resources especially our tatalites and cobalt related derivative as well as diamond and gold.”
The governor also alleged that Nigeria’s foreign enemies were responsible for the festering internal crisis including secessionist agitations in parts of the country in order to dismember it amid crisis for the purpose of selling their weapons.
“As you know what this international community does for Africa, once they see that large deposit of natural resources, they will be glad to see such country go to war. On one side they’re funding enemies of state; on the other hand they’re funding secessionists so that they can be in the business of guns,” he said.
While also paying glowing tribute to the PDP, the Cross Rivers state governor said that he still has great respect for his former party, saying it was the platform that gave him the ticket and supported him to win elections for senate and governor respectively.
Ayade said until he defected to the ruling party, he was a committed and dedicated member of the opposition PDP.