By Prince BASSEY
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Saturday, witnessed yet another downsizing in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, when stalwarts and over 500 members of the party defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ward 4 of the local government.
Admonishing the defectors, the Akwa Ibom State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Comrade Ini Ememobong advised them to remain faithful to the Peoples Democratic Party, maintaining that the PDP remains resolute in changing the suffering that has been inflicted on Nigerians by the APC-led federal government.
He harped on the democratic deliverables of Governor Udom Emmanuel to the people of Akwa Ibom State and described the State Chief Executive as a good product of the PDP who remains committed to delivering on his campaign promises. He urged the party faithful to vote massively for the Governor to succeed himself in 2019 to continue with the good works he has started in the state.
The member representing Ibiono Ibom State Constituency at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barrister Ime Okon, whose Ward the defection occurred said the movement is the beginning of the death of the APC. He pledged to support the new members and solicited for their loyalty to the PDP.
Receiving the defectors on behalf of the party, the PDP Ward 4 Chairman, Mr Michael Akpan applauded them for their courage to move from darkness (All Progressives Congress) to light (Peoples Democratic Party).
Speaking further, Mr Akpan expressed dissatisfaction with the current nose-diving of the nation’s economy which he attributed to the poor leadership of the APC-led Federal Government and maintained that the Peoples Democratic Party remains the only party that will salvage Nigeria from its pitiable State.
Also Speaking, the Ibiono Ibom PDP Chapter Chairman, Hon Emmanuel Etim said he was happy that the defectors have realized that the APC is synonymous with suffering and bad luck, arguing that they deceived and lured them into their ever sinking party.
In what sounded like a freedom speech, Mr Itoro Damien, a former Ward 4 APC stalwart, said they were deceived and lured into their former party. He hinted that he single-handedly funded administrative activities of the APC in the area due to lack of funds in the party. He regretted their actions and pledged their unflinching support and loyalty to the PDP, while speaking glowingly of the achievements of the PDP-led government in Akwa Ibom State.
Leading the defectors were the former APC party stalwarts in the ward, Akparawa Sylvanus Damien Mendie and Elder Ufot Akwa, former APC Unit Coordinator, Mr Uduak Silas Usanga and Mrs. Victoria Silas, former APC Ward Secretary.
Those present at the event included the Transition Committee Chairman of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Council, Mr Samuel Eka, Mkpisong Ememobong Essien, Mr. Israel Utit, board member, Akwa Ibom State Road Maintenance Agency, Barr Mfon Udeme, Special Assistant to Governor Udom on Electoral Matters, Transition Committee members, PDP Stakeholders in the local government, Traditional Chiefs, Women and youth groups.
Highpoint of the defection ceremony was the burning of APC membership cards and brooms by the defectors followed by their registration and subsequent issuance of PDP membership cards to the new members.