In a major realignment of forces in Mkpat Enin, one of the largest local government areas in Akwa Ibom State, the member representing the area in the House of Assembly, Otobong Ndem, on Tuesday, defected from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) with hundreds of his supporters.
Ndem announced his defection when he led a delegation of his supporters in several buses on a solidarity visit to the Akwa Ibom State APC Gubernatorial Candidate, Mr. Nsima Ekere, at the latter’s country home in Ikot Oboroenyin, Edemaya, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of the state.
Among the defectors on the delegation were the Mkpat Enin PDP Local Government Chapter Deputy Chairman, Mr. Ukonsek Ukonsek, the Secretary, Comrade Ubong Kingsley, the Youth Leader, Mr. Ime Inoh, and some other members of the Chapter Executive Committee, a former Chapter Chairman, Chief Friday Ayara, and a former Chapter Secretary, Comrade Umoren Umoren. Others were the former member of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Ini Brown Ekanem, a former Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government, Dr. Imowo Udobia, a former Vice Chairman of the local government, Mr. Godwin Udofot, and a former Leader of the Local Government Legislative Council, Mr. Friday Okobo.
Ndem said, with their defection, the PDP structure in Mkpat Enin, the local government area with the highest number of wards, numbering 14 in the state, had collapsed totally into the APC.
He assured Ekere of huge votes from the area, saying, “With the votes of Mkpat Enin, you will be strolling into Hilltop Mansion. We believe in you because you are one of our own. We have no reason not to support you. We are here because we see the future of Akwa Ibom State. We want to end tortoise politics in Akwa Ibom State. We are not prepared to support you from behind. We are not ready to play submarine politics. We are ready to support you openly.”
Also speaking, Ukonsek described their delegation as the “crack team” of Mkpat Enin politics, promising that “we will show the world that we own Mkpat Enin” when they hold a formal defection ceremony at home soon.
Responding, Ekere expressed delight that the wind of change had reached Mkpat Enin, which shares the federal constituency with his local government area, Ikot Abasi.