By Emmanuel Oladesu , Deputy Editor
The defection of Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade from the Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) didn’t come as a shock. It was not past expectation.
Nonetheless, it was a second of grief for the PDP nationwide management, which had tried to avert the defection, however with out success.
Prof Ayade dumped the platform at a time the PDP had intensified its criticisms of the APC-led Federal Authorities. Because the opposition get together tries to color the ruling get together as a failed organisation, its members are rejecting the umbrella and embracing the broom in droves.
Ayade’s defection underscored a curious survival battle for a star governor, who as a consequence of obstacles inside, determined to hunt refuge outdoors his political household.
The defection meant that the APC now has a footing within the Southsouth. It’s a type of reduction, having misplaced Edo State to the primary opposition get together in final 12 months’s governorship election. Instructively, APC had additionally made a dramatic in-road to Ebony State, the place Governor Dave Umahi, parted method with the PDP.
To the PDP, Ayade’s departure is a significant loss. The PDP Governors’ Discussion board, which did not pacify him, regardless of frantic efforts, is depleted. Nonetheless, not all supporters of the governor dumped the get together. 13 state lawmakers defected with the governior; 13 are in opposition to him.
The implication is that though the governor left, the construction of the PDP nonetheless stays formidable. This formidability shall be put to check in 2023.
Ayade defected, in response to sources, as a final resort. As state get together chief, his affect was ebbing away, in contrast to his colleagues in different states who’ve consolidated their maintain on their get together’s machineries.
The failure of incumbency energy is instructive. Regardless of the overwhelming sources at his disposal, the governor, as latest occasions have proven, has been abandoned by nearly all of get together trustworthy. Two years to the following normal elections, the diminutive scholar and politician has change into a lame duck battling with a fading affect within the PDP.
He took a decisive step to avoid wasting his profession. The owner packed out from his reputable home; a well-recognized terrain and construction that made him a senator for 4 years and governor for 2 phrases. He has now embraced unusual mattress fellows, a few of who will not be prone to willingly settle for his computerized management of the Cross River APC, the identical chapter he had vowed to cow on the peak of his political affect within the PDP. The top, as it’s mentioned, will justify the means.
Ayade has left PDP, amid contrasting perceptions. The nationwide management of the PDP treasured him as an important asset as a result of he’s governor. However, the state chapter is split of their evaluation of his function as a unifying issue.
To observers, the Cross River governor betrayed the belief and confidence of his colleagues within the PDP Governors Discussion board, who had stormed Calabar, the state capital, few weeks in the past, to steer him to proceed to endure his tribulations within the get together and jettison the defection. However, he doesn’t owe them a everlasting loyalty.
Like many politicians, the governor isn’t an ideologue. He’s not a pretender. He operates in ideological vacuum. But, the step he had taken will be rationalised. There’s a skinny line of demarcation between the 2 main events. They’re mere autos for in search of energy.
Apart from, an important factor in politics isn’t the morality of energy, if it exists in any respect in any political lexicon. There is no such thing as a everlasting pal or foe in politics; what’s paramount is everlasting self-interest.
Will PDP undergo from the defection? Will APC have the ability to dislodge the PDP in future polls in Cross River as a result of it has caught a giant fish?
Many components motivated the leaping of ship. The governor’s excuse that Cross River was in opposition doesn’t maintain water. It’s a pretend clarification.
The governor’s camp had complained that exterior forces have been bent on upsetting him by way of their undue interference in Cross River PDP affairs. They, particularly, pointed accusing fingers at Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike for giving a tacit help to Ayade’s detractors.
However, the governor additionally had an axe to grind with the PDP Nationwide Working Committee (NWC) for not defending his curiosity, when he was boxed right into a nook by sure gladiators on the state stage.
Ayade had gazed into the long run and realised that it was gloomy. He’s at loggerheads together with his predecessor and benefactor, Senator Liyel Imoke, and different notable get together leaders-Senator Gershom Bassey, Senator Sandy Onor, Apostle Essien Ayi and Agom Jerigbe. Their grievance was that the governor sidelined them in state affairs.
Reconciliation was troublesome. The sensation within the Southsouth state was that the governor had began gravitating in direction of President Buhari of the APC and persuading him in opposition to defection can be an train in futility.
They spoilt for conflict. The council ballot offered a veritable alternative. Whereas Ayade positioned his candidates as councillors in 196 wards and chairmen in 18 native governments, these leaders, working in live performance with Nationwide Meeting members from the state, succeeded in pulling the rug off his ft. They prevailed on the nationwide management of the get together to endorse their record of ward and native authorities executives, to the shock of the embattled governor.
It was evident that the camp against Ayade had management over nearly all of delegates. They bared their fangs on the senatorial major for the by-election within the governor’s senatorial district.
Whereas the governor endorsed Dr. Stephen Odey as customary bearer, the Nationwide Meeting Caucus queued behind one in every of its members, Jerigbe. Though Odey was introduced as winner, the court docket disagreed, saying that he was proclaimed winner in error.
There was an allegation that Ayade supported Odey, with an intention to later succeed him within the Senate in 2023.
13 Home of Meeting members defected with Ayade. However, he isn’t but in a snug zone. Are 13 PDP members of the Home not threats? Can the federal may save him from impeachment, if the lawmakers transfer in opposition to him? He’ll want deft abilities to get extra state legislators to his aspect. Lots of them don’t belong to his camp.
Is Cross River APC a mattress of roses? The acrimony within the APC isn’t a large departure from the PDP. The chapter is split by the battle amongst its huge wigs for the management of its constructions. The varied factions or groupings are working at cross-purpose. It’s uncertain if Ayade’s defection will unite the tendencies within the crisis-ridden chapter.
Ayade, from yesterday, grew to become the automated chief of Cross River APC. The problem of harmonisation is pending. Will the gladiators settle for his management?. Positively, they don’t have any alternative. However, will they switch their loyalty to a brand new comer who joined the get together, not in his ward, native authorities space or senatorial district, following negotiation with APC leaders discussion board on the get together’s nationwide secretariat, Abuja?
Positively, there’s a contemporary problem of reconciliation within the Cross River APC.
Will APC win Cross River within the subsequent normal election due to the Ayade issue?
Time will inform.