More defections hit Akwa Ibom APC

Another round of defections paralysed the Akwa Ibom state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday as chapter chairmen from 16 local government areas across the three senatorial Districts in the state dumped their brooms in support of Governor Udom Emmanuel of the People Democratic Party (PDP). The chapter chairmen who left the APC party with 20,000 members stormed Ibom Hall ground venue of the defection rally accusing the leadership of the APC of fraternizing with those that conspired with former PDP government in the state to deal with them. Addressing supporters and the state chairman of PDP with Governor Udom Emmanuel, the chairman of chairmen of APC who led the decampees, Mr Sunday Uyire said their return to PDP does not mean coming to struggle for power in the party but to team up with Governor Emmanuel to return to Government House in 2019. “Please his Excellency, do not allow killers to rule the state. We are not coming to struggle with you for power but to join hands. This defection will retire many bigwigs from politics. Please accept us to work with you. We will deliver,” he said. He recalled what late Senator Nsima Akpabio the uncle to Senator Akpabio did in 1983 as he connived with his brothers to stop the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and former Governor of Cross River State, late Dr. Clement Isong from his second term. He said Akpabio and his ‘cohorts’ would be resisted in 2019 despite his antics with the APC led federal government. Uyire said the rate of insecurity in the state during the reign of Senator Akpabio was about to manifest in the state as three of his colleagues were receiving treatment following attacks on them arising from disagreement in APC. He further appreciated Governor Emmanuel for giving all the aspirants plain levelled ground to campaign not as the bad old days when opponents were trailed and lynched in their various homes in front of their wives and children. Receiving the decamped APC chieftains into PDP fold in Akwa Ibom, the state chairman of PDP Obong Paul Ekpo said such defection was unprecedented in the history of politics in the state. “It has not happened in the history of politics that members of another political party gathered on their own to return to another party without any inducement. We didn’t know that our preaching of peace, unity and development has touched our brothers. Therefore we receive and welcome all of you on behalf of the state working committee of our party.” Addressing the former APC members, Governor Udom Emmanuel commended them for showing boldness in the face intimidation. Governor Emmanuel said some of the APC leaders arrived Akwa Ibom from Lagos in a night bus and attempted to steal the show assuring the decamped APC members of acceptance. Isaac Job, Uyo

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