Akpabio’s Defection Can’t Stop Us From Winning Akwa Ibom, Says PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State has said that the defection of the former Governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, from the party to the All Progressives Congress will not stop the PDP from winning the state in the 2019 elections.
According to the party, it is laughable to insinuate that the strategy for winning elections in the state is inherent in the former governor, noting that the party has been winning elections in the state before he (Akpabio) became a politician.
Speaking with our correspondent on Friday, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Mr. Ini Ememobong, said the PDP had become even stronger with Akpabio’s defection to the APC on Wednesday.
He said, “Akpabio’s defection is not a huge loss to the Peoples Democratic Party; he defected with himself and insignificant number of people. The team that won elections for Akpabio is still intact and we will win for Governor Udom Emmanuel. But more than any other thing, the divine mandate of Udom Emmanuel is anchored on the phrase, ‘Only God’.
“How can we be terrified because of an individual that left the party? There was the PDP that had been winning elections before Akpabio and the PDP will still win elections after Akpabio. He is an individual, he is not the party.
“APC can never stop us from delivering Akwa Ibom for the PDP. After all, Akwa Ibom is the PDP and the PDP is Akwa Ibom. The election is for us to win and that is why we have started consultations and we are going round the three senatorial districts. The APC is not working and they will be shocked but the people will not be shocked.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Moses Ekpo, had on Thursday that it would be “silly” of him to resign, defect or quit working with the governor, given his character and honesty in service.
Speaking at the Akwa Ibom International Airport, Ekpo said the state would be united, indivisible and supportive of the governor in whatever circumstance that might manifest.
He said, “It will be silly of me to resign or quit from working with a man like Governor Udom Emmanuel; a man of impeccable character, honesty in service and someone who is working hard to improve the fortune of Akwa Ibom State and its people. Akwa Ibom is absolutely the PDP. Akwa Ibom will remain indivisible, united and supportive of Udom Emmanuel.”
Meanwhile, Oron, which used to be a major APC stronghold, witnessed mass defection of over 1,000 of its members to the PDP on Thursday, a day after Akpabio’s defection to APC.
Some of the defectors said following Akpabio admission into the APC, he would “rubbish the party” in the manner he did the PDP.
They said Akpabio’s hatred for Oron would not change “whether he defects a million times into the APC.”
Those who defected along with Akpabio included two House of Representatives members, Mr. Emmanuel Ikon and Emmanuel Akpan; two state House of Assembly members, Mr. Nse Ntuen and Mr. Gabriel Toby, and two sacked commissioners, Mr. Victor Antai and Akpabio’s younger brother, Mr. Ibanga Akpabio, both of whom were relieved of their duties for gross misconduct and non-compliance with public service rules.