Sen Nelson Effiong’s Defection: Oron Falls To APC – Ita Awak, Dr. Edunam Commend Tabasco – There’ll Be Confusion In Court – Analysts – Sen Effiong Should Vacate Senate Honourably – Lawyers



Political Stakeholders in Oron on Thursday finally confirmed the way Oron will go in 2019 elections with the defection of Senator Nelson Effiong Aka Tabasco to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A political analyst who spoke to the Sensor on condition of anonymity yesterday said Tabasco’s defection goes deeper Politically than the action itself.

In his view, it speaks volumes of the position

oro nation had taken before and after the 2015 general election and that it is to remain in opposition.

He said that “Tabasco’s defection is part of the coalition going on in Akwa Ibom ahead of 2019 election when a former deputy governor from Eket

Senatorial District will likely get the APC ticket to run for governorship.

Tabasco is only pursuing his political future. He is being proactive. He wants to deliver Oro nation to APC and continue in government”.

Our source added that Tabasco is aware of his weaknesses as a politician and wants to queue behind political heavy weights in the state.

“Tabasco knows that Umana’s 2015 structure will return in 2019 and you know that Engr. Ben Ukpong (Umana’s Deputy Governor Candidate) ruffled the PDP in Uruefong Oruko where he comes from and the entire Oro nation. This performance will happen again.

Tabasco knows that Oro nation will be toxic in 2019 and he has just taken steps to save himself and his political future “our source said

On the legal arguement that anyone who wins election on the platform of a particular political party and decides to defect will have to relinquish the office, so that the political party concerned can fill the vacancy, our source maintained that it is an issue of law and must be contested from the federal high court to the supreme court.

“It is left for the PDP to go to court and seek for the removal of Tabasco from the Senate, but I can assure you that it will be more political than legal.

Do not forget that APC members are more in the senate and will do everything in their power to protect the interest of Tabasco.

Tabasco will also enjoy the sympathy of the establishment. So, what will happen is that this legal matter can continue for the next two years and Tabasco will finish his term and achieve the future he wants. “Our Source stated.

It will be recalled that Tabasco is one of Senators who emerged in 2015 during the primary of the PDP that was mostly done based on consensus and endorsements.

A lot of politicians and analysts were surprised at the choice of Tabasco in 2015 because after he served out his term in the House of Assembly in 2007, he became largely obscure.

His benefactor, Senator Godswill Akpabio has promised that Tabasco will be dragged to court and the mandate reclaimed.

This contest and who emerges victorious will finally prove the political prowess of Goswill Akpabio or otherwise.

Reacting to the development a legal practitioner in the state, Barr. Sam Ukoima said that the defection of Senator Nelson Effiong to the ruling party is not unexpected by political pundits.

He, however, threw light on the legal implication of such action, saying that he can vacate his seat if challenged in a count of competent jurisdiction.

He said, “The news of Senator Nelson Effiong’s defection to the ruling APC is not unexpected by political pundits and analysts. But what then is the legal implications of his defection? Under our law, a legislator be it state or federal may defect from his political party provided there exist real irreconcilable factors in his party.

“Conversely, if there exist now such a party, such detecting legislator may have his seat declared vacant if challenged in a court of law”.

It will be recalled that Senator Nelson Effiong representing Akwa Ibom South senatorial district, on Wednesday defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Effiong, while quoting Order 43 at plenary, said his decision was to enable him pursue his political career.

He said: “I was elected into the Senate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, but over the past one year, this great party has disintegrated.

“As a result of the crisis in the party which appeared to be intractable, I have decided that no reasonable politician will allow his people to drift without direction.

“So, I have today, the 19th day of January 2017 resigned from the PDP and move to the party that is bringing peace and direction to this country.”

In his reaction to the defection, Deputy Minority leader of the senate, Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha expressed concern at the consequences of Effiong’s defection to the APC.

“What he (Effiong) has said appears to be an insult to those of us who are in the PDP.

“If he wants to do the usual business in Nigerian politics or follow the weather, he should say it clearly.

“This business of moving here and there following the weather should be stated clearly and he should not deviate from the original intention,” he had.

Also speaking, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, noted that both the Constitution and the Supreme Court stipulated that it was not an individual that contest election.

“It is the political party. And therefore, the moment somebody takes the mandate of the political party it behoves on that political party to immediately take steps.

“We had rumours that this was going to happen; we engaged the senator in various discussions and we showed him the implication.

“We want the senate to note that the PDP in Akwa Ibom is on its way to court and we want to reclaim his mandate.

“We must reclaim the mandate given to us. We don’t mind him joining the APC, but he will not go with the mandate given to us. We don’t mind him joining the APC, but he will not go with the mandate given to us in Akwa Ibom,” Akpabio said.

On his part, an APC chieftain Dr. Effiong Edunam said that Sen. Akpabio should mind his own business. “We have accepted our man back.

In his reaction, the APC state publicity secretary, Mr. Ita Awak said that Senator Effiong’s defection is a step in the right direction and the people of his senatorial district have accepted him.

“This is a welcome development. Senator Nelson Effiong defection to APC is an intuitive and practical step of aligning with the core desire and broad political current of the generality of the people of his Akwa Ibom South Senatorial district”, he said.


  1. The Editor of Sensor newspaper should not that Ita Awak is SA to APC State Chairman on media and publicity and not the State Publicity Secretary of APC Akwa Ibom State. The State Pub Secretary is my humble self Samuel Udobong as Ita Awak is imperspniting my office.