Jarigbe Agom

• Lawmaker, 5,000 supporters defect to APC
House of Representatives members from Cross River State have said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not give any member automatic ticket.

All the eight reps in the state are PDP members.

This was coming after the protest at the PDP secretariat in Calabar on Monday by some aspirants who kicked against the automatic ticket purportedly given to incumbent members.

Jarigbe Agom, representing Ogoja/Yala constituency, explained that Governor Ben Ayade did not force aspirants to step down for anybody, but was trying to save new aspirants the agony of spending their money and eventually losing to incumbents.

“Please, there is no automatic ticket. The election for House of Reps is on September 30 and we expect that those who want to express themselves beyond what the party has said in terms of consensus should come to the field.

“The governor said: look, you don’t go and spend your money because if you go to the field, these incumbent members and senators will defeat you. You are already benefiting from my government, you are working with me and I want us to consolidate,” he said.

Agom, who appealed on behalf of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), tasked members not to allow anger to destroy the party’s struggle.

Meanwhile, Bassey Akiba representing Odukpani in the House of Assembly, and over 5,000 of his supporters have dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Akiba announced yesterday that the defection to APC was to join his ally, Senator Bassey Otu, to reposition the senatorial district, as well as sustain and expand the dividends of democracy his constituency and the state got from the Federal Government.

Chairman of the party, Dr. Matthew Achigbe, who welcomed Akiba, described his decision to join APC as the best.

In another development, the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mr. Eyo Ekpo, has said that vote-buying “is capable of destroying democracy”.

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