As political parties in the country prepare for 2019 general elections, the camp of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Akwa Ibom State has continued to deplete following the defection of about 5,000 members to the All Progressive Congress, APC.
The defection which took place on Saturday at Bishop Clark’s Primary School, Abak, had PDP members from former Abak Division which comprised of Abak, Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo, Oruk Anam and Ika officially joining APC at an event organized by Abak 5 Coalition Movement to receive their grand patron, and Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, Obong Nsima Ekere.
In his remarks, chairman on the occasion, Barr. Chris Okorie said that the decamping of former PDP members into APC, is a testimony that PDP in the State has lost both direction and vigor.
Okorie, a former aide to Governor Udom Emmanuel noted that his former party has failed Akwa Ibom people, thus, the mass exodus. He added that APC will take over governance of the State, come 2019.
The former Etim Ekpo Council Chairman who is seeking to represent Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency, noted that PDP only thrive on propaganda and that such will not work in 2019. He urged members of his new found party not to feed intimidated by PDP as it has nothing to offer.
In his address, chairman, Abak five coalition movement, Comr. Isaac Uwem said that the decision for the group and the people of Abak to pitch tent with APC and as well urged Obong Nsima Ekere to contest the 2019 governorship election was predicated on the fact that the ruling party in the State has failed Akwa Ibom people.
Uwem who is a former aide to the National Legal Adviser to PDP, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, blasted the State Deputy Governor for wasting his position as number 2 citizen without touching their lives of Abak 5 positively.
He also decried the marginalization of the Abak 5 by the present administration saying that there is nothing to show for the support and goodwill it had in 2015.
He noted that youths of Abak 5 will no longer continue to mortage their future, thus, the rejectiob of the so called zoning in PDP that is targeted at denying the former Division a chance to produce a senator to represent them.
The youth leader, however, made a passionate appeal to NDDC Managing Director, Obong Nsima Ekere to contest 2019 governorship election in order to salvage the state from poor governance.
He equally commended president Muhammadu Buhari for his various empowerment programmes for the youths as well as feeding programme for school children.
On her part, the Women Leader of the group, Mrs. Emem Isaac said that women of Abak 5 is ready to deliver APC in all the elections come 2019. She assured that APC has interest of Akwa Ibom at heart and their lives will be bettered off.
In their separate remarks, the APC chapter chairman for Abak, Mr. Mfon Ukpe, and a party stalwart, Mr. Augustine Edem, said that with massive decamping of PDP into APC, there is no doubt that the party will win 2019 general election in the State.
They equally called on Obong Nsima Ekere to heed the calls by different groups and organization in coming out to contest the governorship election to salvage Akwa Ibom people from the claws of PDP.
In his remarks, the State Chairman of APC, Dr. Amadu Atai represented by Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District leader of the party, Obong Kufre Inyangette, thanked the decampees for joining the party saying that they will be given equally opportunity.
He also extolled the good leadership style of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that he deserves a second term and will certainly with the 2019 presidential election.
Obong Ekperikpe Ekpo while making remarks, stressed that there is internal democracy in APC. He berated those who betrated Abak 5 for selfish interest, adding that the office of deputy governor was a dummy sold to the people to order to snatch their senatorial district seat. He assured that Abak will produce the next senator.
Highpoint of the event was formal reception of decampees into the party. Present at the event were Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo, Barr. Chris Okorie, Mr. Koko Abia, Abak 5 Coalition Movement Cordinators, party executives, youth and women groups.