Buhari says Ayade, Matawalle will gain more respect by joining APC

Buhari says the arrival of the two governors is one of the happiest times for the APC.

L-R: Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle; Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade; Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni; and President Muhammadu Buhari [Presidency]

President Muhammadu Buhari says the courageous decision of Cross River governor, Ben Ayade, and Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) will earn them more respect.

Ayade dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for APC in May, closely followed by Matawalle who made a similar move last month.

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, branded them as 'shameless human beings' for their defections, but Buhari said on Monday, July 12, 2021 that the two are great additions to the party.

The PDP have in the past alleged that the APC-controlled Federal Government was intimidating the governors into joining the party, but the president said they made decisions based on principles.

He said, "To be principled and identify your objectives is a great quality that should endear us to our people.

"Your people will respect you more for having the courage to come to APC at your own time.

"Nobody forced you, but you believe it is the best way to serve your people. I value your decision."

Ayade and Matawalle were presented to President Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Monday for the first time since they defected.

The 78-year-old described the arrival of the two governors as one of the happiest times for the APC.

Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, also dumped the PDP for APC last November, with more defections rumoured ahead of the 2023 general elections.

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