The All Progressive Congress (APC), has expressed its readiness to make greater in – road into the South-South, following yesterday’s defection of former Governor Godswill Akpabio to the ruling party at the centre.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, who stood in for President Buhari, spoke glowingly about the need for change in the polity, saying it was time Nigerians join the vanguard of the progressives to deliver quality dividends of democracy for the people.
He commended the former Minority Leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio, who led other members of the National Assembly including the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, to Ikot Ekpene Stadium, to witness his official cross-over from his former party, the PDP, to the ruling APC.
According to the President, the entry of Akpabio into the ruling party was the needed antidote to breaking the barricade for the APC to bring the needed change to the people of the Southeast\South-South and enjoined Akwa Ibom people and other party supporters in the region, to embrace the new political order that may sweep through the area, in 2019.
In the same vein, the National Leader of the APC, Aswaju Ahmed Tinubu, armed with broom, commended Akpabio, for his timely move into the central government and expressed delight that “from the crowd that gathered here today, I believe the people are desirous of genuine change in Akwa Ibom and the region”.
He dismissed insinuations in some quarters that Buhari, as a Fulani Muslim, who is alleged to be working against the Christians, may not be able to win the polls in 2019, assuring that APC and Buhari would be returned massively after the polls next year.
He urged the people not be allowed to be drawn into religious and ethnic sentiments, but to collaborate with well meaning Nigerians to wipe off corruption, insecurity and other socio-economic malaise plaguing the country.
National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, blamed the former ruling party of wasting 16 years with nothing to show and urged the people to fight for change, which, according to him, would not come easily, assuring “with strong commitment, you have the change that you need”.
“Governor Udom is only governing in vain because he has nothing to show to the people. Therefore, people should be united for a change”, he stressed, adding that with Akpabio in the boat of the ruling party, the contest was already a walkover for the APC in Akwa Ibom and the Southeast region.
He disclosed that the likes of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when he tore his PDP card had wanted to migrate into the APC, “but the President rejected him, because the former President, who could not even win in his polling boat, is of no electoral consequence to the APC”.
Akpabio, who defected with hordes of party loyalists including National Assembly members, House of Assembly, State Executive Council members, State PDP Executive members and former leaders of the PDP, said he quit the PDP, because of the need “to return my State back into the ruling party at the centre”.
In a related development, the People Democratic Party (PDP), has staged solidarity rally in support of Governor Udom Emmanuel in all the local governments in Ikot Ekpene senatorial District in the State
Addressing party supporters at Ritman University campus in Ikot Ekpene, the venue of the rally, Senator Ibok Essien told supporters that the people of the senatorial district decided to gather in order to withdraw endorsement earlier given to senator Akpabio before he defected to the APC.
He said Akpabio has become a bundle of disappointment to the people and can never be trusted for anything, adding that despite the full support and respect accorded him in the party, he refused to respect the elders and party.