After failing to secure the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2023 general elections in Akwa Ibom State, Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District (Akwa Ibom North-East), Obong Bassey Akpan, has been offered the platform of the Young Progressives Party ((YPP), two weeks after dumping PDP.
Akwa Ibom State chairman of YPP, Apostle Nyenime Andy, who won the party’s governorship primary, surrendered the ticket to Akpan, during a grand reception in his honour held at the constituency arena in Uyo, the state capital over the weekend.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 15,000 decampees followed Akpan, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) into YPP, including a serving House of Representatives member for Ikono/Ini; Mr. Emmanuel Ukpong; a member of the State House of Assembly for Ikono, Mr. Asuquo Udo; his counterpart representing Ibeno/Esit Eket, Dr. Usoro Akpanusoh and a former commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Samuel Effanga.
Others include former commissioner for works and immediate past chief of staff (CoS) to Governor Udom Emmanuel, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang, who is holding the YPP Senate ticket for Eket Senatorial District; former House of Representatives member for Abak Constituency, Mr. Emmanuel Ekon, who is angling to represent Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and a former House of Assembly member for Uruan, Mr. Usenobong Akpabio, gunning for Uyo Senatorial District ticket of the party.
However, Andy said he gave the ticket to the senator who has the clout, experience and capacity to win the polls.
Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, the only YPP Senator in the Red Chamber, who doubles as the vice chairman, Senate Petroleum (Upstream) Committee, said his alliance with Senator Akpan’s ambition, was to facilitate the entrenchment of YPP in the consciousness of Nigerians, as the alternative choice against the major political parties, which he noted, “no longer enjoy the confidence of the people.”
In the same vein, the national chairman of YPP, Bishop Emmanuel Amakiri, who received Senator Akpan and other decampees, said it was time “for the young people to collaborate and muster enough synergy to retrieve the power baton from older generations, who have had their times since the country broke off from the hegemony of the imperial regimes.”
However, Senator Akpan appealed to delegates to massively turn out during the exercise in order to give him the clean bill to go into the election proper in 2023.
He reminded supporters and stakeholders of the State and the party that his ambition was anchored on “equity and justice as the two Federal Constituencies (Etinan and Uyo) had produced Governors before, leaving the Itu/Ibiono Federal Constituency”, as the power baton returns again to Uyo, in 2023.
He, therefore, enjoined the electorates to be in the vanguard of a new Akwa Ibom with YPP at the helms in 2023.