Not fewer than 1,000 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the Eket Federal Constituency and Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Punch reports that the defection is believed to be part of political realignments ahead of the 2019 general election.
Governor Udom Emmanuel hails from Eket Federal Constituency while the Senate Minority Leader Senator Godswill Akpabio comes from the Ikot Ekpene area, which is the political headquarters of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District.
The defection has reportedly caused panic within the PDP and Emmanuel’s cabinet particularly as most of the defectors are said to be Akpabio’s allies.
The defectors were received on Saturday, March 11 by the APC at the Eket residence of Bassey Dan-Abia (Jnr.), a former member of the House of Representatives for the Eket Federal Constituency, who himself defected to the APC just on Monday, March 6.
Dan-Abia saluted the boldness and the courageous decision of the defectors to follow him to the APC and asked his followers to respect constituted authorities, especially the APC-led Federal Government.
In Ikot Ekpene, Ime Mboho, a former board member of the Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission, led the defectors.
He said his decision to leave the PDP was not to spite or disgrace anybody but because of injustice and impunity in the party.
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“We are leaving the PDP for good. This is a party that has not learnt from its past mistakes but continues to hold on tenaciously to impunity. The PDP does not value commitment.
“Other people in Ikot Ekpene have to make hay while the sun shines by joining the APC which has the people’s interest at heart,” he said.
This development comes just days after the Independent National Electoral Commission released the timetable for the 2019 general elections.
The INEC national commissioner in charge of the south-west, Solomon Soyebi, made the announcement at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, March 9.