…throws weight behind Ayade’s defection to APC
By Ike Uchechukwu
A Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and former Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation under President Jonathan, High Chief Edem Duke has called on politicians not to burn the bridges of 2023, stressing that it was unnecessary.
He also threw his weight behind Governor Ben Ayade for defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party PDP to APC describing the move as a step in the right direction.
Duke who made this known in a chat with some newsmen, weekend in Calabar said Ayade’s decision to move to the APC was a step in the right direction calling while urging well meaning Cross Riverians to imbibe the spirit of tolerance which the state was known for.
He explained that there was no need for politicians to burn 2023 bridges now as Cross River was more important and the only party that will remain describing APC/ PDP as mere vehicles.
The Ex-minister said that before his defection to APC , the state had no one who was at the helms of affairs at the national level to protect the interest of the state, a situation which he said warranted movement of the state governor to the ruling party.
His words:” Our party is Cross River State APC/ PDP are mere political vehicles, what really matter is the people .Their interest is more important than the interest of any individual.
“So, there is no need to for politicians to burn the bridges of 2023, we must learn to accommodate each other because at the end of the day, we are all we have.
“When things are shared, when expectations and desires are being expressed, there is nobody there who would saying no, Cross River State is here on the table and will fight tooth and nail for what is our entitlement.
“If we had gatekeepers, we should not have lost 76 oil wells, we should not have suffered the loss of Bakassi, but then, that is story for another day.
“Everybody must be tolerant, accommodating and it is one of the most difficult things to do in party politics. The ability to open the doors to all and sundry and not feel threatened in anyway.
“It is a very critical milestone that has to be crossed and it is important for the leadership to know they have to sow a season of sacrifice”. He said.
Duke enjoined the people especially the political class to place premium on interest of the state rather than that of individuals stressing that with the APC, the state can better be aligned with the centre as pointed by the state governor on the day he moved to the APC.
He said: “When we get to that brink which I think we are now, we just step back and say that Cross River State is more valuable than any other interest, individual or agenda.
“And because we have always been one political family, it is the desires and aspirations of people that make them get up and begin to go into different directions”. Duke maintained.
He said that the decision of the state governor to join the APC is going to make those managing the instrument of power and machinery of government at the centre to take the state serious.