By Abasi Ita, Calabar
Gloomy days loom ahead for All Progressives Congress APC in the forthcoming elections especially in Cross River State as heavyweights of the party who sustained the once-opposition party before the arrival of Governor Ben Ayade are bidding farewell to the APC in droves.
Findings by Summer Post revealed that the main reasons triggering the upsurge in the defection of legacy members includes the hijacking of the party structure by Ayade and his new generation APC members and the exclusion of the legacy members from any juicy party portfolio or ticket for elective post ahead 2023 elections.
Apart from Chief Sam Bassey and former governorship aspirant in 2015, Chief Ogban Ebock, the latest legacy member who has defected to the People’s Democratic Party PDP is the deputy governorship candidate of the party in the 2019 general election, Barrister Mrs Helen Boco
Speaking at a press conference to announced her decision , Barrister Boco cited the maltreatment of foundational members of the APC by the present leadership of the party as the core reason for dumping the party.
Chief Helen revealed that “there is no joy in the party ” thus prompting her to pitch her tent with the opposition People’s Democratic Party to support the candidature of Atiku Abubakar.
In her words, “I was a foundational and legacy member of the APC right from 2014.
“We joined others to build APC across the 18 local government areas of the state steadfastly, with dedication with our meagre resources”
“There is no joy in the APC, people at the grassroots are not smiling, the legacy members are not happy, those of us that built the APC are nowhere in the present configuration
We are not appreciated, recognised, they want to retire us”
“We have been deceived by the new leadership of the party, there is so much deception, there is no truth in anything that has to do with the APC”
“This is not the principles with which we built the APC, so many foundational members are not appreciated, the voice of the voiceless at the grassroots has been ignored.
“So I am here to let the world and Nigeria know that I am not a member of APC anymore, I resigned yesterday and I am now a member of PDP in Ward 9, Calabar South Local Government and I am happy to be a member of a formidable political party”, she said.
The former APC big wig accused the state Governor Senator Ben Ayade of ignoring the people at the grassroots, and described his appointments as mockery.
She stated that the governor and his party have performed woefully and we don’t have to pretend about it, let’s try PDP, they have the antecedents to address the mess created by the APC”
“What has Governor Ayade done to the legacy members? he has ignored us, as I speak with you in my pooling unit I am a grassroots mobilize, my polling unit we don’t have any appointee, every day there is so many appointments which we know is all rubbish.
“His Excellency, the governor has not done well and is not doing well, let us not pretend about it.
“How many of us are happy with the present situation we are faced with, how much do you buy fuel today, power must change hands”, she submitted.
Barrister Boco lauded the PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar for appreciating the work she has been doing at the grassroots and appointing her to his Independent Campaign Council.
“So at this point, I have been recognized by His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar to join his campaign team.
“He constituted an independent campaign council and I have accepted his appointment, I am ready, the grassroots are ready to work massively in his support for the 2023 elections.
“I think for once a grassroots mobilizer has been heard, this appointment is not just for them but for those that have been denied, ignored, oppressed after all their sacrifices.
“That appreciation alone from another part of the sacrifices that have been made at the grassroots is worth smiling.
“If somebody out there can recognize that the grassroots need to be heard, that’s enough joy and happy
Despite zoning its governorship ticket to Cross River South to satisfied the yearning of the “Back to South”/agitators, the All Progressives Congress APC has been hit by mass detection of prominent members and their teeming supporters to the PDP in recent times,