Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which he dumped for the All Progressives Congress, APC, stood by him all through his time at the party.

The governor who defected to APC yesterday, however, said he dumped the party because t always overblow national issues instead of joining in to solve them.

Ayade said he joined the APC to help President Muhammadu Buhari and to also allign his state with the government at the centre.

He said this when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.

He said in part, “My decision to move has nothing to do with my relationship with the PDP, it has everything to do with my understanding of the challenges of this nation at this time. My respect for the integrity, character and quality of leadership that President Muhammadu Buhari has brought. I feel depressed when the nation is challenged with security issues. Instead of us rising as an orgasmic whole to see how we can support the President to deal with these foreign herders that are colonising our various roads and farms, we rather sit back; we tend to create an impression as if the government is not doing well.

“So, it is therefore not driven by a mere political ideology but the philosophical point that this nation is tending toward the brink of collapse and we must support the President. The reality is that there is a reason for which I have moved is what I have analysed for you…because of my personal relationship with Mr President. The relationship is so strong that, don’t forget, the President’s first working visit was to Cross River State. I am not from the North. I am not a Muslim. I was not in APC. But the President chose my state to visit. I owe him that sense of duty, relationship, that fatherly respect. I have related closely with him and I can see his heart and soul. He is a good man in all total sense.

“Essentially speaking, I am one of those whose political slogan is very clear…Politics with Ethics. I am from Cross River State and Governor of Cross River State. Cross River has been reduced to worse in body, in spirit and in the soul; a state that has lost her territory and oil wells; a state that is among the lowest, 35th out of 36 states, in terms of federal allocation. The only state in the South-South that is completely dislocated from the comity of the oil-producing states. A state that does not get 13 per cent derivation. A state that its monthly income is far less than its cumulative monthly salary. I was hit elected to practise politics but to bring value to my society; to the people who elected me.”

Ayade added, “I don’t believe that by this decision, it is disloyal to the party (PDP). Even all through the time I spoke about my defection, I never spoke about PDP. So, for me, APC is the party to go to at this point in time because if this nation does not have a smooth transition in 2023, what we talk about Somalia will be like a child’s play.

“The choice to join APC at this point is based on a nationalistic approach and my commitment to my state; nothing to do with morality or the issue of whether I’m loyal or not to the PDP. Besides, as many people as you see in the PDP, have defected at one time or the other. And many people that you are talking to in APC, who are so committed to this nation, were at some time in PDP.

“As to whether there are issues in the PDP, no. The party stood by me all through the way. In any other legal issue that I have had, PDP had stood with me. PDP gave me the opportunity to be a senator; PDP gave me the opportunity to be governor. I would never have any time to pull down PDP. I have integrity, character and honour. My politics have ethics. My decision to join APC is to join the President to reduce the tension in the country.”