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There is tension and palpable fear among the political class in Cross Rivers State as the All Progressives Congress, (APC) has taken over the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, secretariat located at 42A Murtala Mohammed Highway in Calabar Municipality.
This twist is unveiling on the heels of Governor Ben Ayade’s defection to the ruling APC.
While defecting the governor, thanked and commended his former party, PDP, for ‘standing with him all through his political life and it is not in his culture to pay good with evil.
‘I am a man of conscience, I have no reason to castigate the PDP that made me all I am politically today. PDP gave me the opportunity to go to Senate and two term governor. Moreso, I learn from history and recent happenings around me. I thank the leaders of my former party and enjoin then to join us to build a better Nigeria.’
Howeverm], things took a different turn in the early hours of yesterday as a crack team of stern-looking policemen numbering about 20 stormed the PDP secretariat and cordoned off the building while some painters were seen there scrapping off the PDP colour and repainting it with APC colour.
Government House source revealed that Ayade, in a meeting with some APC stakeholders, promised that he would hand over the PDP secretariat to this new party and furnish it to befit their new statue.
The source who spoke to correspondents anonymously said he told APC members that he pays the rent and therefore they should take over the building from next week.
But when our correspondent went the secretariat as at 11: 30am, the security operatives have been withdrawn from the secretariat, leaving only the painters and a handful of youths hovering around the building.
The secretariat was rented in August 1999 by the trio of former Gov Donald Duke, late Chief John Okpa, former Deputy Governor to Duke and Efiok Cobham, former Deputy Governor to Sen Liyel Imoke.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK