The state leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has suffered another major political setback following the defection of the former Member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly (AKHA), Obong Asuquo Darby Udo, leading Sunny Ossom, Mr Uwem Brownson (Eto-Akpa), and their supporters from the APC to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The event which took place at the party secretariat, Odot, was attended by highly placed sons and daughters of Nsit Atai, led by the MD/CEO of Eminence Oil and Gas Limited, Mr Emmanuel Okon.
Also in the team who received the defectors from APC to PDP was the Commissioner for Economic Development and Manpower Planning, Hon. Idorenyin Udo; member Representing Nsit Atai State Constituency, Elder Mark Eset; Chapter Chairman of PDP in Nsit Atai, Mr Chrisantus Okon, the Chairmanship candidate for the PDP in Nsit Atai, Lady Emem Ibanga; Special Assistant to the Governor on Grassroots Reorientation, Mr. Joseph Okon; Hon. Lawrence Udosen; State Assistant Secretary of the party, Barr Uduak Johnson, including the former Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon Samuel Effanga, and many others.
Receiving the defectors, Mr Emmanuel Okon who championed their return to the ruling PDP in the state, commended Obong Darby Udo for returning to his ‘first love’ the PDP that afforded him the platform to pursue his political ambition from chairman of council to the State House of Assembly.
He expressed happiness for his recognition of the good works that Governor Udom Emmanuel has done in the state, hence his decision to return to the PDP and support his re-election as Governor come 2019, maintaining that PDP remains the only big political family that has brought so much development to the state.
He said that Darby’s return to the PDP and his followers are early signals to Udom’s victory come 2019, and has put an end to the self-acclaimed APC in Nsit Atai.
Mr Okon called for greater unity among Nsit Atai people for the common project of delivering Lady Emem Ibanga as the Executive Chairman of Nsit Atai and the other 10 Councillors of PDP come December 2nd, and Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2019.
On his part, the Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr Idorenyin Udo, lauded the former member of the House of Assembly, Obong Darby Udo for making true his promise to the Governor when he visited him early this year at Government House accompanied with Nsit Atai Elders.
He said that his labour to reconcile and bring back all aggrieved members who left the party has yielded positive result as the few remaining ones if any will soon return.
Mr Udo called on party members to see the returning ones as their brothers and sister and shun discrimination by carrying them along in every party activity.
Also speaking, the PDP chairmanship candidate in Nsit Atai, Lady Emem Emmanuel Ibanga said that PDP is becoming stronger by the day with more members of the party who strayed to APC have returned to work for PDP. She predicted a glorious out-thing for the party comes December 2nd, and commended the stakeholders in the area for finding her worthy to be the PDP chairmanship flag-bearer.
Lady Ibanga assured the people of Nsit Atai that her administration will pursue peace and development of the area.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Grassroots Reorientation, Mr Joseph Okon who is an indigene of the area assured all defectors that the umbrella is large enough to cover all. While welcoming them back to the PDP, the governor’s aide charged them to be of good conduct in the party.
He called on all PDP members to mobilize people from their units for the ongoing voter’s registration to deliver Governor Udom Emmanuel who has done well come 2019.
Setting the tone for the reception, the chapter chairman of PDP in Nsit Atai, Mr Chrisantus Okon said he was happy to receive Darby, Ossom, Brownson, and their supporters back to the big umbrella of the PDP. He called on all ward chairmen to integrate them to the party by carrying them along in every party activity.
Responding, Obong Darby Udo expressed happiness on the maturity the Governor has exhibited in handling party matters in the state, which according to him has given the common man a sense of belonging. He extolled the leadership capacity of Mr Udom Emmanuel, and described him as the best gift for Akwa Ibom people.
In his word, “I am back to my house PDP. I’m not coming to struggle position with anybody. I’m back to sit on my own seat. I’m back to support governor Udom Emmanuel to succeed come 2019 because I have seen that he has something to offer Akwa Ibom people. I have seen good leadership and honesty in Governor Udom Emmanuel administration”.
“I’m ready to mobilize my supporters within and outside Nsit Atai to ensure that Udom Emmanuel gets a second term. With my coming back to the PDP, governor Udom Emmanuel should expect a walloping victory in his second term. Not even one vote will be allowed to go to another political party”.
“I have already set machineries in motion to actualize this agenda by sponsoring massive registration of voters in Nsit Atai Local Government”, he stated.
Also speaking, Mr Uwem Brownson (Eto-Akpa) who until his defection from APC to PDP was the state coordinator of all political groups under the APC, described his former party as ‘a den of lies’. Mr Brownson maintained that there is no truth in APC, and that his defection to the PDP marks the final death of APC in the local government.
He promised to use the same energy he worked while in APC to mobilize more people for the victory of PDP in all elections.
Highpoint of the event was the formal handing over of the defector and their crowd of supporters to the chapter chairman of the party, Mr Chrisantus Okon.