Even though a good number of those appointed by Prof Ben Ayade as aides and cabinet members have announced their willingness to follow him to the APC, it has emerged that the appointees may have done so grudgingly and are plotting to frustrate the governor.
Ayade, governor of Cross River State, defected from the PDP and joined the ruling APC last week in what was seen as not surprising to his aides.
Even his deputy, Prof Ivara Esu was also said to have been shocked that he was never aware that the governor was defecting until that Thursday morning, in the presence of six other APC governors.
TNN learnt that the appointees have been so uncomfortable with the broom idea, when they had been so used to the umbrella and were never taken into confidence by the governor about the defection plans.
Some of them who spoke to TNN said the governor only compelled them to join the APC on the day he defected formally and that they felt cheaply manipulated by the action.
Sources said the governor had only informed the appointees, local government chairmen, house of assembly members, commissioners and heads of some agencies that they should join him to receive the visiting APC governors, just as he had received his colleagues of the PDP some weeks earlier.
One commissioner told TNN that it was shocking for them to hear the governor announce that he was defecting to the APC.
The Historic Set Up
TNN learnt from impeccable sources that Ayade may have fallen to a serious set up by his colleagues who had insisted that he must announce his defection publicly last Thursday.
The APC governors led by Yobe State governor Mai Mala Buni and caretaker committee chairman of the party, were in Calabar a day before and has spent the whole night talking Ayade into accepting to make a public announcement of his defection.
Another source close to that meeting said the governor was reminded of the promise he made to the Yobe governor that he would join the party as long as he could cause the senate leadership not to swear in Agom Jarigbe as senator, to replace Steve Odey as senator for Cross River North.
They had also told him, according to the source, that the EFCC was dusting his files and could give him the Rocha’s Okorocha and Orji Kalu treatment if he reneged on his aides promise.
Ayade was said to have assured them that he would join and also bring along all his followers.
How the governor handled his appointees
Apparently not sure of how his appointees would take it, the governor was said to have kept the plans to his chest and only instructed them to join the APC from their various wards thenceforth.
The governor was said to have called all the appointees for a meeting where he told them to, one after the other, shout the slogan of APC as a sign that they had accepted to join the party.
While some shouted with excitement, it was learnt that some of the appointees only did so grudgingly, an indication that they were not willing to move with him to the APC.
As at now, there are emerging signals that not all the appointees who shouted the APC slogan have gone to register in their wards as directed by the governor.Some of them have even chosen to stay off the system, while hobnobbing with some PDP leaders, with whom they are plotting the fall of the governor.
Anger within APC
TNN learnt that the way and manner the governor and the APC governors and leaders of the party went about the entire processes provoked leaders of the party in the state.
For example, it was learnt that the governor did not take the APC leaders in Cross River into his confidence, either before or after the defection.
They are not also happy that the governor decided to take over the PDP secretariat and convert same to an APC secretariat without their consent and approval, when the party already had a secretariat.
They view his sole actions as a threat to the already fragile peace in the party and an indication that he was coming into their party to conquer them.
Some members of the caretaker exco as well as the party stakeholders have complained that they were very uncomfortable with the style of leadership the governor was already showing.
At the defection event, Ayade had immediately proclaimed himself leader of the APC in the state.
He had also gone ahead to take some decisions on behalf of the party without consulting the leaders at home and in Abuja.
The decision to ignore the existing APC secretariat and go for an entirely new secretariat has already pitched the governor against the party leaders.
There were fears that some of the party leaders may openly confront him on the issue. Some of them told TNN that the leaders were already considering how to deal with the matter.