Chairman of opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Cross River State, Venatius Ikem, has explained that they had to wrestle power from Gov Ben Ayade when he was becoming autocratic while he was a member of the party.
He said the governor wanted to control all party structures in the state, attempting to install every party official and ignoring stakeholders.
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Ikem was a guest on Let’s Talk Nigeria, a flagship discussion programme on a local radio, Sparkling FM, on Friday morning.
“We frustrated the governor out of PDP alongside a handful of his appointees. He wasn’t creative. He wasn’t democratic.
Ayade wanted to control all party structures. He was imposing his personal will but we are a democratic party in all sense of the word.
“Our members rose and thwarted such personal desires upon all members. He became very frustrated, which reason he left us,” he said.
“He went on to explain that his emergence as PDP governor in 2015 was the singular product of Senator Liyel Imoke who was then the governor.
“Imoke has since accepted his mistake; regretting, going from one campaign ground to other events venues, apologising and pleading to be forgiven for foisting him on the people.
“We accept that we all make mistakes as humans. But when Ayade moved out of PDP, we happily saw it as good riddance to bad rubbish,” he added.
Talking about the governor’s style of governance, Ikem said they have consistently and persistently criticised Ayade’s phantom projects, recruitments, and style of governance where he has turned the state into a dumpsite, exposing citizens to health hazards.
On the chances of the PDP, Ikem expressed excitement that due to the loud applause from the people, he was confident that they will emerge victorious in the gubernatorial election on March 11, 2023.