No fewer than 14 chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) including the factional state chairman and a governorship aspirant of PDP in 2007, Dr Bob Udoma Ekarika, yesterday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with their supporters.

The defectors were received at the Onna Sports Stadium, during a solidarity rally organised by the people of Eket senatorial district in honour of governor Udom Emmanuel.

Addressing a mammoth crowd of his supporters governor Udom Emmanuel announced that he would formally declare his intention to run for a second term as governor in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party on Friday.

He challenged those speaking ills of administration to challenge him openly in a debate, adding that he was prepared to spend his personal resources to hire international, national and local media to present facts during the debate.

“I want to thank all of you for this endorsement. It means a whole lot for me. I want to say if you are in this arena today it means you have endorsed me for a second term. And because you have endorsed me I will declare to run on Friday.

“Let me tell Nigerians all those things they are saying is all lie, Akwa Ibom is PDP, South South Nigeria is PDP, there is no other party. I want to let Nigerians know and the world to know that in Akwa Ibom we are PDP. Make no mistake, I want this to be on record that I have heard so many things, but I don’t join issues with people.

“I have heard things, and I want to challenge anybody who thinks he has the truth to come out, I will use my personal money to hire CNN and other international media, AIT, Channels, NTA and AKBC, let’s present facts to Nigerians, when we finish you will know who is saying the truth and who is telling a lie.”