Okon Bassey in Uyo
Two days to the conduct of the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, hundreds of the All Progressive Congress (APC) members have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State.
They were received Wednesday into the PDP at a grand rally in Uyo.
The candidate of the APC for Etinan Federal Constituency and a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dan Akpan and a former Majority Leader of the state Assembly, Dr. Etido Ibekwe who represented Senator Godswill Akpabio’s Essien Udim State constituency were top on the defection list.
Akpan was defeated by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke on February 23 National Assembly elections.
Speaking Wednesday in Uyo, Governor Udom Emmanuel commended the people for casting their votes for the PDP on February 23, and welcomed the decampees while advising the people not to be deceived by the blackmail and lies of the people from Abuja who don’t have followers.
Emmanuel challenged the opposition to an option A4 voting optionn, noting that if it was effected in Akwa Ibom State, the PDP would win overwhelmingly.
He decried the undue harrassment meted out to the electorates on 23 February, but encouraged the people to go out and vote on Saturday, defend their votes and assured decampees of their political freedom.
Emmanuel cautioned security agencies against working against the people on Saturday, noting that they were equipped and empowered with tax payers’ money to defend the people and not fight
“Akwa Ibom State is a peaceful land. Today, I am here to appreciate the Akwa Ibom people. I am here today telling Akwa Ibom people that I salute you for standing firm; for your resilience in letting the world know the truth between light and darkness, God and man.
“If Akwa Ibom is a land named after God, the wicked man will continue to fall; Akwa Ibom shall be liberated. Let me also thank all of you for voting PDP on February 23.
“Let me thank all those who have completely collapsed their structure for the PDP. Let me also thank all those people who have defected to PDP. I want to assure them that we have many mansions in PDP.
“The PDP is big enough to cover them; PDP is the only party that can bring unity, development, bring infrastructure and preach righteousness.
“I challenge the Abuja people, let them prove something to the centre, let them come down, let the Akwa Ibom people queue, if they have 20 percent, whenever we tell you that Akwa Ibom is PDP, don’t believe us.” He said.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General, Divine Mandate Organisation, Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd), called on Akpabio to accept defeat and congratulate Chris Ekpenyong who defeated him at the elections even as he cautioned the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to be guarded on his statements on the state.
“I can only advise that once the people have spoken, the sign of liberty is that we go by the wishes of the people. We pay tax so that the security operatives will protect the people of Nigeria, please don’t turn their guns against the people of Nigeria.
“The people of Akwa Ibom State want PDP. For anyone to bring violence into a peaceful community means that they don’t mean well for Nigeria,” he said.