The Cross River Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee has responded to what it calls a trespass and forcible takeover of its secretariat by the state’s governor, Ben Ayade.
Governor Ayade defected from the PDP to the All Progressive Congress (APC) on Thursday, according to Vanguard. In a subsequent growth, Vanguard announced that the property located at 142( a) along Muritala Mohammed Highway in Calabar, which housed the PDP Secretariat in Cross River, was painted into All Progressive Congress, APC, colours on Saturday morning.
According to a press release signed by Effiok Cobham, Chairman of the PDP Caretaker Committee in Cross River State,
”This morning, armed policemen cordoned off the Cross River State PDP secretariat at 42 Murtala Mohamed Highway, Calabar, providing cover for thugs from the APC faction of Governor Ben Ayade to invade the PDP state secretariat with the aim of converting the property to the APC state secretariat.
”Currently, the PDP’s assets, especially critical documents and records amassed over the past two decades, have been vandalised, lost, or are in the custody of Governor Ben Ayade.
”Members of the newly formed PDP state Caretaker Committee have been barred from entering the property by APC thugs and Nigerian police officers. The building is currently being decorated in the APC colours.
”As a result, we vigorously oppose the APC’s crude invasion of the PDP secretariat on the orders of Governor Ben Ayade. The property is currently occupied by PDP.
”We have the rental agreements and receipts proving rent payment for the current term of the land.
”The lessor of the property has explained that the PDP’s tenancy at 42A Murtala Mohamed Highway is still in effect. The Lessor regretted the APC’s primitive operation, saying:
”I understand that the property is currently being painted in APC colours, and I am calling to inform you that I have no arrangement with APC. I hereby declare that PDP’s tenancy is still active and that they are my legitimate and recognised tenant.
“This invasion constitutes criminal trespass, malicious property harm, and actions likely to result in a breach of the public peace.”
”We are shocked that it is Governor Ayade, who has the statutory duty as the state’s chief security officer to uphold law and order, who is encouraging this sort of dubious and vicious conduct.
”We hope that when the average man on the street imitates this behaviour and moves into every house or property that catches his eye, including Governor Ayade’s newly acquired sprawling properties in Cross River state, this would be interpreted as political fair game.
”The APC’s behaviour has reached a new low in Nigerian politics. This is an inciteful and vendetta-driven conduct. The PDP gave Governor Ayade the mandate of the citizens of Cross River state twice: once as a senator and once as governor. Although we value Governor Ayade’s political choices, we assert that he has no right to obstruct the peaceful conduct of law-abiding people of Cross River State, including the formation of any political party.
”We therefore call on the APC leadership in Cross River State, as well as the APC national leadership, to reject Governor Ayade’s infantile behaviour and allow the PDP to peacefully occupy and use its land.
”We also demand the return of all records, property, and equipment taken by the APC from the PDP secretariat.
”We assume that President Muhammadu Buhari should urge Governor Ayade to respect law and order and refrain from actions that aggravate the country’s security situation.
”Finally, we conclude that Governor Ayade is passing up an opportunity by failing to acquire a new building for his APC faction in the state.
”Doing so would give him the ability to complete at least one project in Cross River state during his presidency.”