By Micheal Jegede (Contributing Editor, Abuja)
Former Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, has debunked a report in some online mediums where he was said to have declared that he remains the leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, regardless of Governor Ben Ayade’s defection to the party.
Wondering what those behind the fake report want to achieve, Ndoma-Egba said he never granted any press interview to react to the defection of Ayade other than the written statement he personally signed to congratulate and welcome the governor to APC.
The ex-Senate Leader’s rebuttal contained in a statement signed by his media manager, Sunny Udeh, reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a mischievous publication on some online platforms wherein Distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, CON, SAN, was quoted as declaring himself the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, while reacting to the defection of His Excellency, Senator Prof. Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State to the APC yesterday.
“We will ordinarily ignore this obviously mischievous attempt at portraying Sen. Ndoma-Egba in a bad light but for the possibility of some readers being misled by the author and sponsors of the publication. Clearly, the objective is to paint the Senator as someone struggling for relevance and unhappy with Gov. Ayade's entry into the APC, both of which are very far from the truth.
“To set the records straight, Sen. Ndoma-Egba issued a written statement personally signed by him yesterday, congratulating Gov. Ben Ayade for his bold decision to join the APC and welcoming him with open arms. That statement was widely published in the media, including Guardian, National Compass, AIT, etc. For the avoidance of doubt, he did not grant any oral interview to any media organization.
“It is public knowledge that even before the entry of Gov. Ayade to the APC, Sen. Ndoma-Egba was never in contention with anybody for the leadership of the party in Cross River State. Instead, he has always advocated teamwork, inclusiveness, and internal democracy as the pivots on which any successful political party stands. His interest remains contributing to building a stronger and vibrant APC that will deliver the dividends of democracy to Cross Riverians in particular, and Nigerians in general.
“In case the authors of the frivolous publication, in their haste to please their paymasters, do not know, it is standard practice in party politics to have a sitting Governor as the leader of the party in the State. Cross River State is not an exception to this rule and Sen. Ndoma-Egba clearly knows and supports this position.
“Finally, Sen. Ndoma-Egba reaffirms the message of congratulations he issued yesterday to welcome Gov. Ayade to the APC and will work with the Governor to position the APC and Cross River State on the path of sustained growth and development.” NNL.