The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday received the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting was held about two weeks after the governor defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Ayade told State House correspondents after the meeting that Buhari influenced him to join the ruling party.

He said, “I am one of the strong Nigerian governors who has risen beyond party lines and ethnic lines by virtue of my education and exposure.

“My choice to join the APC is generating a lot of concern for the PDP occasioned by the fact that it came as a rude shock.

“And sincerely, it is indeed a rude shock because until I defected, I was a very strong member of the party in truth and in spirit.

“The reality is that PDP had the best result in Cross River State -of all the elected offices, all the chairmen of the council, all the counsellors, all the National Assembly members but one, all the chairmen of the local governments, all commissioners, all the appointees, all of them were PDP before I defected.

“So, in terms of performance of the PDP, it should be the highest performance in the last election in Cross River.”

He added, “I’m not here to discuss PDP, because I still have respect for that party. It’s a party that gave me the opportunity to be a senator. It’s a party that gave me the opportunity to be a governor.

“And so, at all times, I have chosen to focus on APC and my dreams and reasons for my movement to APC.”

The governor said Nigeria was snowballing into civil strife, hence the need for Nigerians to come together and support the President.

PUNCH

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