– Barring any last-minute rapprochement, an influential politician in Cross River state will join the PDP
– Chief Jude Ngaji, a respected stalwart of the APC, is leaving the party just days after Governor Ben Ayade defected
– The politician is said to have already met with key stakeholders of the PDP in the south-south state who are ready to receive him soon
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Calabar- A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Cross River state, Chief Jude Ogbeche Ngaji, is set to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
. gathered that Ngaji, a former state security adviser to Governor Benedict Ayade is set to move to the PDP days after his former boss moved to the APC.
Already, there are indications that the PDP is in serious talks with Ngaji, while the news has unsettled the APC.
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A source in the Cross River PDP who spoke under the condition of anonymity told . on Friday, June 4:
“Chief Jude Ngaji might defect to the PDP any moment from now once the terms are wrapped up.”
The APC stalwart had left the PDP in 2018 to contest for the Ogoja federal constituency House of Representatives election.
It is believed to be that he is presently at loggerheads with some elements in the APC at the state.
According to the source, Ngaji will be received into the PDP by a former governor of Cross River state, Senator Liyel Imoke.
Interestingly, Ngaji served as deputy chief of staff and later chief of staff to Imoke when the latter was governor.
He reportedly met with Imoke and the Cross River PDP caretaker committee chairman, Effiok Cobham earlier this week where all arrangements have been perfected for his return to the party.
A date for the reception to take place in Calabar, the state capital will be announced soon.
PDP chieftains expected at the defection rally include Senators Sandy Ojang Onor, Gershom Bassey, Jarigbe Agom, Daniel Asuquo, Etta Mbora, and other National Assembly members.
The anticipated defection of the respected politician is coming in the wake of the current political alignments and realignments in the state ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Although some other sources said last-minute efforts to restrain Ngaji from joining the PDP were, ongoing by some critical APC stakeholders, it is still not certain if he will bow to pressure not to defect.
Recall that Governor Ayade on Thursday, June 3, stated that he still respects the PDP for what the party did for him even after joining the APC.
Ayade made this known to State House correspondents after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor insisted that he left the opposition party for the sole reason that wants to be in the same party with President Buhari.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom has claimed that some governors and other members of the PDP who recently joined the APC are scared of prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Comissiion.
The governor made the allegation during an interview with newsmen at the Makurdi Airport while returning from a trip to Oyo state.
Governor Ortom expressed confidence that the defections would not have any adverse effect on the fortunes of the PDP, adding that the party will win the 2023 presidential election.