The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State suffered a set back Tuesday with the defection of more than 5000 of it’s members in Obot Akara Local Government Area to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The event also witnessed the official commissioning of the Obot Akara APC chapter Secretariat office as well a reception in honour of Barr Austin Mbeh, who recently won his case at the Court of Appeal, a statement by the Akwa Ibom APC said.
The court nullified the April 11,2015 Ikot Ekpene / Obot Akara State Constituency election and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier issued Idongesit Ntepere of the PDP and conduct fresh polls within 90 days.
Addressing the mammoth crowd at the event, Barr. Mbeh thanked his people for the show of love and support during the campaign, through the election and litigation process.
He assured his constituents that not only will the APC win the rerun as ordered by the court but that he will not relent in his determination to provide effective and people centered representation as their representative.
He advised his constituents not to be deceived by the PDP, describing the PDP as “dead and buried”. He reiterated the determination of the Buhari led administration to reform the electoral system and reposition the economy for the good of the people.
He maintained that the era of electoral impunity is over.
Also speaking, the political leader of the area and former member of the House of Representative, Abom Tony Esu, thanked the people of Obot Akara, Ikot Ekpene and Essien Using for “seeing the truth and embracing the light”.
He described the defection of former PDP members to the APC as the pathway to liberation.
He admonished his constituents to keep faith with the party and give their unalloyed support to Barr. Austin Mbeh and Umana Umana to win the forthcoming rerun and redeem the Constituency and the state.
Receiving the PDP decampees, the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district chairman of the APC, Sir Kufre Inyangette, thanked them for “seeing the light of salvation”.
He assured them of equal rights and privileges as they “join the family of Progressives to redeem the state”.
He noted that though the APC is not a party that shares money to people to the detriment of the poor masses, the party will ensure that the welfare of the people is a topmost priority in line with the change mantra.
Also speaking, a chieftain of the APC and former chairman of PDP chapter chairmen in Akwa Ibom State, Chief Sunny Ibanga, thanked the people of Obot Akara for believing in the APC and assured them of his determination to protect the interest of both the party and party members in the Federal Constituency.
He admonished the people not to sell their PVC to anyone as that remains their weapon to vote out the PDP in the next few months.
He maintained that the rerun will be a test of power between the people and impunity. He donated executive chairs, a locker and tables for use at the newly commissioned APC chapter office in Obot Akara with a pledge to ensure that all chapter offices in the federal Constituency remain the best furnished in the state. The decampees promised to support Chief Umana Umana, Barrister Mbeh and other APC candidates in the state.
Goodwill messages were received from party faithfuls which included a former state chairman of the PDP; Engr Essien Ibok, Ini Okopido, Engr. Akanimo Eket, Fabian Ekpo, former chairman of Essien Udim LGA; Barr Martin Umanah, Tiebet Joshua, Donatus Ebere APC chairman Essien Udim, Rev. Ubon Usoro, Mr. Joe Umoren among others.