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Cross River PDP: Ayade has taken over our secretariat… repainted it in APC colours

Cross River PDP: Ayade has taken over our secretariat… repainted it in APC colours
May 26
22:31 2021

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River has accused Ben Ayade, governor of the state, of forcefully taking over its secretariat in Calabar.

The governor, who defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on May 20, had said he wanted to support President Muhammadu Buhari in building a greater nation.

Two days after his defection, the governor allegedly took over the PDP secretariat and handed it to the APC, with one of his aides saying Ayade paid the rent for the facility. 

But the party, in a statement signed Effiok Cobham, its caretaker committe chairman, said PDP remains the legal tenant of the secretariat. 

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“On 22nd May, 2021, two days after defecting from our party, Governor Ayade, now a full-fledged APC member, invaded the state secretariat of PDP at 42A Murtala Mohamed Highway, Calabar, with thugs under the cover of armed men of the Nigerian Police Force, Cross River Command,” the statement reads. 

“Governor Ayade forcefully took over the secretariat and on his instructions the building has now been repainted in the colours of the APC. We understand that the building now serves as one of the several state secretariats of the APC in Calabar.

“The building currently stands under guard by the police, painted in APC colours, flying the APC flags, as monumental signpost of impunity, political rascality and absolute disregard for law and order.

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“We had earlier raised alarm that vital documents, sensitive party membership registers and other facilities are being carted away or destroyed. That situation has not abated.

“This building has served as the state secretariat of PDP for over 22 years; it was the secretariat of the PDP even before Governor Ayade joined PDP. The current rent for the property has been paid and the tenancy of PDP subsists.

“The rent receipts issued to our party, in the name of PDP, are available in proof. The Lessor who rented the property to the PDP has issued a statement to the effect that PDP is the lawful tenant, and there is not arrangement to have APC as tenant on the property. Clearly, the invasion and occupation of the building is immature politics, unnecessary provocation and outrightly illegal.

“In an official statement from his Chief Press Secretary, Governor Ayade defended his invasion of the PDP secretariat on the ground that he paid the rent for the current year. We do not know who governor Ayade gave money to; he can ask for his refund because PDP paid the rents and we have the rent receipts to show. Governor Ayade can bring his own proof of payment. Neither Governor Ayade nor the APC are privy to the tenancy agreement between the PDP and the Lessor.” 

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The party said even if it were in breach of the terms of the tenancy, there are laid-down processes for ejection of tenants and recovery of premises which need to be followed.

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