By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
The Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor Mr. Moses Ekpo (MFR) and the leader of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan have both said that they have no intention to go with the Senate Minority Leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio in his purported plan to defect from the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the same vein, Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Onofiok Luke led some of his colleagues on a solidarity visit to Governor Udom Emmanuel, to reassure him of their support for his second term re-election bid.
Both Ekpo and Kieran were among top politicians from the state widely rumoured to top the list of persons that will defect from the PDP alongside the Senate Minority Leader in a ceremony planned for Wednesday at the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium, but they have promptly denied the insinuation, saying there was no reason whatsoever to jump ship.
The Deputy Governor said through his spokesperson, Mr. Ekikere Umoh, that the story of his plan to join the APC is “nothing but a poorly concocted piece of a malicious hatchet job and a piece of lies that should be appropriately ignored.”
The statement noted further that Mr. Ekpo was away in New York, United States of America to represent his principal as the Special Guest of Honour at the 2018 International Convention of the Ati Annang.
According to the Deputy Governor, “I have not resigned. I have no reason whatsoever to resign or jump ship from a government that is both responsive and performing optimally, while giving practical meaning to democratic dividends for the people of Akwa Ibom State.”
He therefore called on all committed Akwa Ibomites and committed party members at home and in the Diaspora to remain resolute and committed to the government of Governor Udom Emmanuel to take the state to the next level.
Similarly Kieran, the House Leader, who incidentally is also the President of the Socio- cultural organisation Ati Annang, also reacted from New York. He said, “I stand with Udom for second term. Tell Akwa Ibom people that I’m not leaving PDP for any reason.”
The House leader representing Oruk Anam State Constituency promise to announce his position on his return to Nigeria.
As the initial anxieties that enveloped the state when the defection news first broke are gradually giving way, anger and disbelief seem to have taken over as many people still say they cannot imagine Akpabio in the midst of the same people he had rubbished in the past.