The re-election of Governor Udom Emmanuel in the 2019 general elections got a major boost as over 20,000 former members of All Progressives Congress (APC) defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State.
Led by Joseph Ama and other former APC chairmen across the 31 local government areas of the state, they said they left the APC in protest of the defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio to the APC. The mammoth crowd of former APC stalwarts in the state claimed they were threatened by the memories of the insecurity; kidnapping, politically motivated killings and other social vices which they said dominated the state during Akpabio’s reign as governor.
Handling over the defectors to Governor Udom Emmanuel, Ama said,
the defectors were APC’s main support base built since 2008 and inherited from the days of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.
He said the people of Uyo would not allow themselves to be fooled by anyone who may desire to pocket the entire state. He said they were further appalled by the level of impunity now being exhibited by the APC since the defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio to the APC and the deaths that have occurred within the APC fold since then.
Also addressing the crowd, the chairman of APC in Itu Local government area, Sunday Okon Uyire, said it was practically impossible for him and his exco members to remain in the same party with those who in 2011, plotted to kill them. He stated that the memories were still fresh and that the spirit of those who died in that incident, will not forgive them, if they tagged along with the architects and perpetrators of that heinous offence.
He assured that all the officers who served with them would join hands with the ‘sanitized PDP’ under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel to ensure the electoral success of all PDP candidates in the approaching polls.
Addressing the defectors, Governor Udom Emmanuel expressed delight at their action, noting that it could only be motivated by deep seated conviction, that cannot be bought. He said that he would not join issues with his detractors, as there was no basis for such. He however challenged anyone who wants to join issues with him to step forward with facts, not emotional outbursts.
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