Cross River governor not defecting to APC, says aide

Christian Ita, chief press secretary to Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River state, has denied rumours that his principal is planning to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Party (APC).

In a statement on Friday, Ita said there is “absolutely no truth” in the rumours of his defection.

He said Ayade’s relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari is based on governance.

Ayade was in the delegation of President Muhammadu Buhari to two high-level meetings in Lome, Republic of Togo.

This also fuelled speculations that he is being wooed by the APC in the south-east and south-south regions ahead of the 2019 election.

But Ita dismissed the reports.

“There is absolutely no truth to the report that Governor Ayade is defecting to the APC. It is fake news; it is the fertile imagination of the author of the report,” he said.

“The governor has a relationship with the president based on governance. So there is a need for us as a people to understand that governance is different from politics.

“Ayade is a committed PDP member.”

Ayade was elected governor on the platform of the PDP in the 2015 governorship election.

On July 25, some APC youths in the state stormed the national secretariat of the party in Abuja to protest against the alleged plan of his defection.

They reportedly said the governor wanted to join the ruling party because “he is a man whose party has roundly and unprecedentedly rejected him for his very poor and abysmal performance”.

Earlier in the week, Abdulmumin Jibrin, a member of the house of reps, said four PDP governors were working for APC.