Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has revealed why his Cross Rivers State counterpart, Ben Ayade, defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking with State House Correspondents after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa on Friday, Ishaku said the PDP did its best to persuade him to stay.
He said: “Well, I wouldn’t know precisely the governor’s thinking, because all of us are different, but we are greatly shocked and embarrassed that he will suddenly dump the party for APC because all of us see PDP as an alternative to APC and all the PDP governors are doing very well in their respective states.
“For him to leave to APC, I don’t know the details of that, I have not seen him, but be that as it may, I believe that any democratic country must have an opposition, a viable opposition and opposition in itself is good for democracy. If you don’t have an opposition, then the government in power can go astray and so I believe in a vibrant democracy with opposition, if we have an opposition, it is good.
“As to the reason why our colleague in PDP will depart, I don’t know the details and I can’t hold brief for him, he can still talk for himself, but I want to assure you that all the governors in PDP are doing very well in their respective states. Possibly because we’re in opposition and the pressure is on us and we are doing the best we can.
“I will invite you to my state in Taraba, to come and see the beautiful works I’m doing there in all ramifications; from education, agriculture, name it, we are doing a great job, infrastructure, etc.”
Ishaku also expressed doubts that the PDP would lose any more of its governors to the ruling APC in the future, saying all PDP governors were performing brightly in their various states.
“I don’t see that happening and like I said, even his own was a shock to some of us. I don’t see that happening. For Nigeria, we should hope for the opposition, a vibrant opposition that will help to put and maintain the system going. Democracy without opposition is not a democracy.”
He said the PDP, through Senator Bukola Saraki-led National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee, did a good job to make Ayade stay, but he had other reasons for leaving the party.
Ishaku said: “Let me tell you, they have done a good job, but it depends on the decision of an individual and what he actually hopes to gain.
“You may get the best of intentions, somebody may not agree with you and so that is the point. I think it’s more of the governor’s decision, as it affects him, and that nobody can hold brief on that.”