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Ayade’s former aide defects from APC to PDP

A former Governor Ben Ayade’s aide, Comrade Afuo Joseph Ogbaji, and others have defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Cross River Northern Senatorial District.

Ogbaji, also known as OGB, hails from Ugboro ward in Bekwarra Local Government Area of the State. He stated that APC has failed to deliver the promised dividends of democracy during electioneering.

Ogbaji, who was a staunch member of the APC in Bekwarra, officially returned to the PDP on Saturday, 30th March in Ogoja, along with over a hundred other members, mainly friends and supporters. He was received by top PDP stalwarts from the north.

In explaining his decision to join the opposition party, Ogbaji cited several reasons. He mentioned that the APC fell short in delivering on its core policy objectives, including the economy, healthcare, education, and infrastructure. He also criticised the lack of transparency, accountability, and inclusivity in the APC-led administration.

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Furthermore, he expressed concerns about the erosion of democratic values and institutions, as well as ethical considerations regarding the conduct of some APC leaders and members.

Ogbaji expressed his confidence in the PDP as a compelling alternative with a vision for inclusive governance, economic prosperity, social justice, and respect for democratic norms. He believes that the PDP is better positioned to address the multifaceted challenges facing Nigeria, emphasising citizen-centric leadership, participatory governance, and respect for the rule of law.

He promised to work and rebuild the PDP, especially in the Northern Senatorial District, stating that he could contribute meaningfully to the realisation of their shared aspirations for a brighter future.

Speaking on why he moved to an opposition party, Ogbaji said: “As a dedicated member of the All Progressives Congress, my decision to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party stems from a careful consideration of several critical factors that have progressively eroded my confidence in the APC’s ability to effectively govern and represent the interests of the people.

“Despite the initial promises of change and reform, the APC has fallen short in delivering on its core policy objectives. Key sectors such as the economy, healthcare, education, and infrastructure have witnessed stagnation or regression, indicating a lack of coherent policy direction and implementation.

“The governance style of the APC-led administration has been characterised by a lack of transparency, accountability, and inclusivity. Decision-making processes often appear opaque, with limited consultation and engagement with stakeholders, thereby undermining democratic principles and fostering a sense of disenchantment among the populace.

“The APC’s approach to governance has raised concerns about the erosion of democratic values and institutions. Instances of executive overreach, disregard for the rule of law, and suppression of dissenting voices have become increasingly prevalent, posing a threat to the foundations of our democratic system.

“The APC’s policies have failed to adequately address the pressing issues of social justice and equity, exacerbating existing inequalities and marginalising vulnerable segments of society, leading to a growing sense of disillusionment among ordinary citizens who feel neglected and marginalised by the government’s elitist agenda.”

Continuing, he said: “My decision to defect to the PDP is also informed by ethical considerations regarding the conduct of some APC leaders and members.

“Instances of corruption, impunity, and ethical breaches within the party have tarnished its image and credibility, necessitating a reevaluation of my political allegiance.

“In contrast to the APC’s shortcomings, the PDP presents a compelling alternative with a vision for inclusive governance, economic prosperity, social justice, and respect for democratic norms.

“The PDP’s commitment to grassroots participation, diversity, and consensus-building resonates with my values and aspirations for a better Nigeria.

“I believe that the PDP, with its track record of fostering democratic ideals and prioritising the welfare of the people, is better positioned to address the multifaceted challenges facing our nation.

“Its emphasis on citizen-centric leadership, participatory governance, and respect for the rule of law aligns with my vision for a progressive and prosperous Nigeria.”

Ogbaji, who promised to work and rebuild the PDP, especially in the Northern Senatorial District, said: “I am confident that by aligning myself with the PDP, I can contribute meaningfully to the realisation of our shared aspirations for a brighter future.”

Afuo Joseph Ogbaji was appointed as the Special Assistant, Office of the DG, Regulatory and Environmental Compliance, by former Governor Ayade on 25th October 2016.

Nsan Ndoma-Neji
Nsan Ndoma-Neji
Nsan Ndoma-Neji is a conventional journalist whose career started as a student in a Cross River University.

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