The Progressive Governors Forum says the All Progressives Congress will provide Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State and all Nigerians a viable platform for political aspirations and negotiations.
The PGF Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja while welcoming Ayade, who just defected from his party, Peoples Democratic Party, to the APC.
Bagudu lauded the APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee for the milestone achievement in getting another experienced leader as Ayade to join the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PGF is an umbrella body of governors elected on the platform of the APC.
Ayade said he took the decision to defect to the APC to enable him to align with the centre and to join forces with President Muhammadu Buhari to build a better Nigeria.
The governor, while announcing his decision to join the APC, said it was obvious that at this point, there was a need to join hands with President Buhari to build a Nigeria that all could be proud of.
He said: “We need all governors to recognise that it is not the party that matters.
“It is character, honour and commitment to the vision of this great nation.
“I believe that if every one of us as governors join hands with the President, we can sit on the same dining table and fashion out a way to govern this country.”
The PGF chairman said Ayade’s defection to the APC was indicative of President Buhari’s principles, commitment and conviction to the development of Nigeria.
He added that given his achievements in Cross River State, Ayade had only come home where he belonged by his defection to the APC.
Bagudu said: “The APC is indeed the party that will provide him, his people and indeed all Nigerians the viable platform for political aspirations and negotiations.
“Together with Ayade and all our leaders in the APC, our party’s capacity to serve collective interests of Nigerians through effective representation will be strengthened and reinforced.”
Bagudu added that the APC was open, transparent and would continue to guarantee fair contestation in politics in line with the commitment of President Buhari and the party’s founding leaders.
He further added that the party’s CECPC had worked hard to restore the political credentials of the APC as a strong institution for Nigeria’s democratic development.
The PGF chairman gave assurance that the forum would continue to support the CECPC in all its current initiatives to rebuild the APC.
According to him, with the defection of Ayade to the APC, its capacity to mobilise all patriots and other like-minded progressive Nigerians to join the party is stronger.
He stressed that APC belonged to Nigerians, adding that everyone from every part of the country was free to aspire for any position in the party in line with the provisions of its Constitution.
Bagudu said: “The guiding philosophy as enshrined in the provisions of our manifesto is economic, social and political development of Nigeria.
“The progressive reinforcement of our party continues, we look forward to receiving more patriots and progressive minded Nigerians into the APC.”