The rumor was rampant when Ebonyi Gov David Umahi readied his mind to hop into the APC, and the PDP denied the possibility until it happened. A similar scenario is playing out in Cross River now: Gov. Ben Ayade is cross-carpeting.
The PDP Governors Forum is already in denial mode, running around to keep the professor down in a party he feels has been hijacked by some people.
According to Sokoto Gov. Aminu Tambuwal leading the effort, the last PDP congress in the state became contentious. As though Ayade hadn’t been contemplating dumping the party before then.
“I cannot blind myself to the challenges of PDP and decide not to know what to do at the right time. I speak with righteous anger for the continuous annoyance and nuisance orchestrated on our innocent state by external factors. But, I just hope that this ends today,” Ayade told Bauchi Gov Bala Mohammed who visited months ago.
The state’s party has been splintered into two for years: there is the NASS caucus who try to trample on the Ayade faction. Ayade is supposed to be the state party leader, though.
The rivalry got so bad the Ayade faction, comprising the remaining wards and LGAs the Abuja faction hasn’t snagged decided it was time to move with Ayade to wherever.
But Tambuwal and his team, including Delta Gov Ifeanyi Okowa and Enugu’s Ifeanyi Uguwanyi are optimistic Ayade will remain.
“We’ve engaged with them and the feelers we have is that by the grace of God, we’ll soon resolve these issues and the party will bounce back as one,” said Tambuwal.
The APC has poached Umahi. There are fears it will draw out Zamfara’s Gov. Bello Matawalle.
With the uncertainty hanging above its Cross River chapter, and the long-time dalliance of Ayade with President Muhammau Buhari, the PDP might soon lose two governors to the ruling APC.