A stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, Mr Godwin Akpama has endorsed Governor Ben Ayade for the 2019 governorship election.
The immediate past chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and one time governorship candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance(PPA) told TNN in Calabar, the state capital, that he took the decision to back the Peoples Democratic Party governor because of his disillusionment with the actions of APC leaders in the state whom he said were pursuing personal interest rather than the interest of the party.
He told our correspondent that their actions do not portray them as people who were serious about producing the governor in 2019.
According to him, “APC leaders in the state should stop deceiving us. They go behind to collect contracts from Ayade. They brought someone we rejected as chairman of the party in the state to impose on us.
“The chairmanship tussle in the state cannot be resolved by the national leadership of the party. It is a state matter. Why would normal party men choose to polarise the party instead of working in one accord, unity and oneness, when they know that unity itself is strength? This is absolute madness!”
He further stated that “these people can no longer fool us. Are you aware that these people who claimed to be stalwarts of the APC in the state merely claim that they are committed members of the APC but behind they collect juicy contracts from Ben Ayade and make us look like fools? So who is fooling who?”
Akpama said he was seeking Ayade's re-election in 2019 as a patriotic citizen of the state, stressing that his advice is in the best interest of the state.
Asked if his action did not amount to anti-party activity for which he could be expelled, he said no one could expel him and if they do, he would take to them to court to seek redress.
“When President Muhammadu Buhari came to perform the ground breaking in Cross River State, did his party expel him because he came to a PDP state to perform the ceremony? Here in Cross River, who is in APC now that was not in PDP?” he asked.
The erstwhile leading critic of Ayade said APC leaders in the state had demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they don't have the capacity to manage their internal affairs and for that reason, the supporters don't need a soothsayer to reveal this to them.
“I am honest about what I am saying. Some party leaders are just there to satisfy their personal interest instead of the interest of party members. I expect them to show patriotism to the state by declaring their support for Ayade's second term just as almost everyone is doing so that he can be in a proper position to deliver whatever good he has for the state.”
When asked to point to what Ayade had done in the past three years to deserve a second term, he claimed the governor was doing well, adding that he iwasaddressing critical aspects of the state's economy through the implementation of projects that would boost the agricultural sector of the state.
He mentioned the on-going construction of rice processing mill in Ogoja, and cocoa processing factory in Ikom Local Government Area, the rice city in Calabar, and successful implementation of the Anchor Borrowers scheme.
Akpama also pointed at the industrial park in Calabar which he said reveal a lot about the governor's effort at making the state an industrial hub.