In this interview, Senator Sandy Onor who represents Cross River Central in the National Assembly predicted the fall of APC in the state, with the entry of Prof Ben Ayade.
How did you feel when you heard that your governor have moved from the PDP to APC?
It’s like the fulfilment of a long awaited expectation. We had always expected that he would move, the body language said so. His speeches said so and we were just waiting for the time and the moment and it came to pass. So nothing strange for us, nothing at all.
If that is not strange, was it strange that 24 hours after, he went to the PDP secretariat to take over?
Definitely, because he gave the impression with his media interview shortly after he left the PDP that it was not because he has any issues with the party. He left the PDP just because he needed to be where he would aid the president with good advice to deal with worsening insecurity situation in the country. We expected him to act in that manner. So when 24 hours later he rather was doing brigandage in the PDP secretariat, we wondered whether he wanted to become Lot’s wife who became a pillar of salt because she would not forget Sodom and Gomorrah because those moments they left and he started demonizing PDP saying that it was no longer a viable platform. For the party that gave you a Senate seat and gave you victory twice as governor, the dramatic switch was very ridiculous and truly laughable.
Are you sure you won’t miss Professor Ben Ayade?
I will miss his drama (bursts into laughter). I will certainly miss his drama.
Nice guy, plenty drama yea, and his pontifications, his intellectual pontifications, but I don’t think I’ll miss anything beyond that.
Aren’t you worried that having moved to the ruling party, APC may just take over everywhere in Cross River in the upcoming election?
That’s a dream! The quest for a mirage. Not Cross River, not anytime soon, no, not at all. Cross River is PDP. We’ve all tested this escapism and it does not work, not Cross River. I don’t think the governor will be going with political capital enough to fundamentally change the political landscape of Cross River. All the ingredients, the men, the materials remain overwhelmingly in PDP. Our people are so used to the logo; literate and illiterate, boys and girls, men and women. All they know is umbrella and it has provided shelter for the people for so long a time. Asking them to go to the broom is what will not happen so soon. It’s like a movement from a sublime to the extremely preposterous. It won’t happen.
I’m surprised to hear this because the governor and all the commissioners have left, all the local government have left, most of the National assembly members went with him, his political appointees and virtually everybody.
Politics is about people. So if he has moved with people, what will happen to PDP?
He will find out sooner or later. That is in theory, in practice he’s a loner, more or less and as the day goes by, he will find out. That theoretical position is not true at all. It is complete in discordance with the reality. The truth on the ground is that his commissioners, his members of the house of assembly, his appointees, all of them put together, if you take a proper statistical survey, only about thirty percent have truly moved with him. The rest are grudgingly doing so for food on the table and it will not last, certainly not before the elections, it will not last. They will drift, water will find it’s level. They’re all PDP people, they’ll come back to the party.
What do you think will happen to the APC?
I don’t wanna be a prophet of doom, but I can tell you that APC will be worse than it was before his entry. The toxidity in APC will increase, the contentions, the anxieties will rise, the disagreements will expand, fighting for space that does not exist. It will be a nightmare, very soon, quote me, it will be a nightmare. I know what I’m talking about. And this question also brings to the fore, the hypocrisy of many political leaders. I was amazed, ashamed to see the statements made by some political leaders, clapping for the entrance of Ayade into APC. This is the same man they said he was not performing, a tragedy, a non achiever of the highest order in the politics of out state. This was a man they branded the most tragedy mistake that Cross River has ever made. It just shows the height of hypocrisy of falsehood in our politics and even in the level of leadership. These were men who has spoken with me one on one and even know the words they deployed, describing Ben Ayade. So these men, all of a sudden changed and started clapping for him but I can tell you something, it wouldn’t be long, they will go back to their original thinking to spew out words against the governor that he wouldn’t believe. I say this with a touch of scientific accuracy, it will happen. Some of them will try for them not to come to the public but it will come to the public in due season and it may not take one year, this prophecy shall come to pass.