Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade has continued to garner state-wide support following his recent defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The latest of such support is coming from the state’s council of traditional rulers.
Led by their chairman and Paramount Ruler of Bakassi, His Royal Highness Etinyin Etim Okon Edet, who spoke on their behalf Wednesday at the State Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office Calabar during a courtesy visit to the governor, the monarchs told Ayade that there was a spiritual dimension to his defection.
“We are here today to meet with you and to discuss with you and to tell you our mind, that for the past three weeks or so, a lot has has happened in the state which we describe as spiritual development beyond human and political comprehension. Only those with third eyes will see it.
“It is our believe that God wants to do something out of this for two reasons: old things must pass away and old things must become new”, Edet said.
According to him, their support for Ayade’s defection was because “past Governors of this state have always admonished us to follow the leader and in this state, the leader is the Governor. So nobody should tell us otherwise now that it is Ayade’s turn.
“Therefore we must follow Ayade because we know that your thoughts towards Cross River State, Your Excellency, are of good and not evil, you will lead us to a successful end .
“Your Excellency you told us that this state cannot afford to be in opposition and we know of a truth that we cannot afford to be in opposition.”
The monarchs commended Ayade for opening up Cross River’s political landscape by bringing young people into government and urged the people of the state, including past governors, to join hands with him “to bring good things to Cross River.”
Responding, Ayade thanked the monarchs for the unflinching support he has always enjoyed from them.
He reiterated his reason for defecting to the ruling party which was to sucket Cross River to the centre for the overall economic and infrastructural benefit of the state.
“I want to thank you for coming. I took a leap, a leap of faith and I am happy you are here with me, leaping with me. I did so because I know the person I am working with in the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari, a man of honour and a man of integrity and so to that extent I took a leap”, he told the monarchs.
Describing the Bakassi Deep Seaport and the Super Highway projects- two legacy projects of his administration- as Northern Nigeria’s shortest route to the Atlantic Ocean, the governor appealed to the President for federal support to ensure their realisation.