Uyo – A tsunami on Monday hit the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Chairman of the forum of APC Chapter chairmen, Honourable, Joseph Ama, led over 20,000 former members of the APC to join the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Ama and other former APC chapter chairmen across the 31 local government areas of the state say they fled the APC as a reaction to 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 decampees to Governor Udom Emmanuel, Ama said “We quit the APC because we are children of peace. We were very comfortable in the party and suddenly three killers who didn’t allow Akwa Ibom to exist peacefully during their time as governor and key players in that government, defected to the APC and started their kidnapping again.
“As I am talking to you now, three of our friends are in the mortuary due to the tension they brought into the primaries.
“If we allow them, Akwa Ibom people may no longer be able to sleep with their eyes closed. That is why we want to join hands with you to keep the peace you have restored to the state alive”.
Ama said the number of decampees were the APC support base built up since 2008 and inherited from the days of the 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 audience, the Chapter Chairman of APC in Itu Local government Area, Hon. 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, will 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.
“As we are here, we want to sound a warning to APC that as they are boasting that they have “federal might”, we also want to them to note that we will match them with ‘Unity might’ to deliver Udom as Governor in 2019 elections because Akwa Ibom is our state.
“They promised us 31 industries but delivered none, they killed our political leaders, they invaded churches to kidnap children, invaded thrones to kill our royal fathers,” he said.
They submitted a list containing the names of those defecting with them to PDP to the State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Obong Paul Ekpo, who thereafter received them into the party and assured them of equal rights and privileges with pre-existing members.
Addressing the decampees, Governor Emmanuel expressed delight at the voluntary nature of their action, noting that such an action could only be motivated by deep-seated conviction that cannot be bought.
He said that he will not join issues with his detractors as there was no basis for such. He, however, challenged anyone who wants to join issues with him in a public debate to step forward with facts, not emotional outbursts.
The multitude of defectors dropped different insignia of their old political party and burnt them at the venue and accepted to come under the coverage of the umbrella. They also submitted pages from the voluminous list submitted by the former stalwarts of the APC.
INDEPENDENT reports that Senator James Akpanudoedehe, penultimate week turned over his grassroots support base for Mr Nsima Ekere the APC gubernatorial candidate in Akwa Ibom State, likely dissatisfied with the decision of their political grandmaster, the over 20,000 community politicians who abandoned both the party and their former leader.