Ayade Visits Buhari, Accuses External Bodies of Backing Secessionist Agenda
By Deji Elumoye
Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, yesterday visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, with an allegation that external bodies are fanning the embers of disunity in Nigeria “in order to sell their arms and ammunition in the event of crisis.”
Ayade, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) about a fortnight ago, told journalists after his meeting with the president that Nigeria’s foreign enemies are precipitating the current crisis, including secessionist propagations in some parts of the country, so as to have it balkanised for the purpose of selling their weapons.
According to him, “As you know, what this international community does for Africa, once they see that large deposit of natural resources in a country, they would be glad to see such country go to war. On one side, they’re funding enemies of state; on the other hand, they’re funding secessionists in order to be in the business of gun running.”
Meanwhile, Ayade also played glowing tribute to the PDP, saying he still has great respect for his former party, adding that it was the platform that gave him the ticket and supported him to win elections for the Senate and governorship respectively.
Ayade said until he defected to the ruling party, he was a committed and dedicated member of the PDP.
On why he moved to APC, the governor said: “I moved into the APC because of my personal relationship with the president. I have watched him, and I found honesty and integrity, and I see his wish and commitment to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. To that extent, I have a leader that I trust.
“Opposition in the third world means let everything happen that will make the other party look bad. The increasing insecurity in Nigeria as Nigeria suffers attacks from extraneous aggressors, paid militia and bandits, and the opposition party only celebrates that because it believes it gives it a chance to win in 2023.
“So, opposition becomes very cannibalistic; so you rejoice over the bloodbath in your country. You rejoice over the level of insurgency and killings in your country just because you are playing opposition, even as the country snowballs into a civil strife.
“We need to come together and support the president to overcome the insurgency which is characterised by external militias who are paid for the purpose. I know very clearly that they have basic interest in our natural resources, especially our tatalites and cobalt-related derivatives as well as diamond and gold.”