The gale of defections again hit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State with the defection of over 500 of its members to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Mkpat Enin local government area on Tuesday.
Among the defectors were Chief Martins Ikono (Matelbot), an oil mogul, Hon. Ubong Inyang, a former Chairman of Mkpat Enin local government and Prince Emmanuel Ekefre, a PDP chieftain.
In his speech, Chief Martins Ikono, the leader of the defectors thanked the new APC state chairman, Hon. Ini Okopido for personally receiving them being his first official outing since his election on Saturday.
He said their defection with their teeming supporters would greatly boost the chances of APC in the 2019 elections because Mkpat Enin is one of the biggest local government areas in the state, having 14 wards, the highest number of wards in the state.
Mr. Ubong Inyang said the PDP was depleting fast in Mkpat Enin and disclosed that many PDP chieftains had informed him that they would soon join him in the APC.
Prince Emmanuel Ekefre said he had resisted enormous pressure by PDP leaders in the last 24 hours not to defect.
Receiving the defectors, Hon. Ini Okopido, the new APC State Chairman said the defection was the fruit of his labour because he had visited Mkpat Enin the previous month to persuade Chief Ikono and other PDP chieftains in their houses to join the APC.
He assured the new members of equal opportunities in the APC as old members.
He commended Mkpat Enin people for joining the popular statewide movement to change the inept state government.
Dr. Inyang Dan-Abia, the APC Eket senatorial district chairman commended Mkpat Enin people for embracing APC overwhelmingly and charged them to be steadfast.
Hon. Stephen Ntukekpo, the APC state youth leader presented the defectors to the state APC leadership and disclosed that many youth leaders across party lines had met and assured him they were all determined to send the “Lagosians” back to Lagos.
Otuekong Bernard Udoh, the Mkpat Enin APC leader said the defectors were men of substance in their communities who had the capacity to help APC win elections, adding that APC did not need to campaign again in Mkpat Enin.
He thanked the new APC State chairman for making Mkpat Enin his first point of call after his election.
Prince Enobong Ufot, a former chairman of Ikot Abasi local government said he was delighted that all the politicians that make things happen in Mkpat Enin were all in APC.
Hon. Ini Okopido was accompanied on the visit by his deputy, Dr Ita Udosen, Sir Cosmas Ibanga, the Ikot Ekpene APC senatorial district chairman, Mr. Okon Owoefiak, the state treasurer, Chief Sunny Ibanga, the welfare secretary and Barr Inyang Udoh, the assistant legal adviser.