The formal reception of former Senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba and 10 other stalwarts of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who recently defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC) did not go as planned as the Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State ordered the closure of U.J. Esuene Stadium Calabar, the planned venue for the reception.
National chairman of All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other key leaders of the party arrived Calabar for the grand event.
Oyegun and the APC national vice chairman for South/South, Prince Hilliard Eta, were bluntly told that there was a superior directive that the two venues they were seeking to stage the reception had already been approved for a PDP Youth rally, and therefore they were free to look elsewhere.
Before the March 28, 2015 presidential election, then governor Liyel Imoke denied General Muhammadu Buhari the use of the same stadium for his campaign. He was rather confined to a ramshackle primary school compound for his presidential campaign.
Sources close to the APC said the Department of State Security (DSS) operatives and personnel from zone six police command equally encouraged the party to move its members to another venue for the sake of peace.
Apart from the former Senate leader, others to be formally received include – former governor Chief Clement Ebri, former ambassador to Mali, Chief Sony Abang, former PDP governorship aspirant and ex-NNPC general manager, Godwin Jedy Agba, Senator Bassey Otu and other political heavyweights from the PDP and the Labour Party.