Less than 72 hours to the governorship and state legislative assembly elections, two chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Dan Akpan and Dr. Etido Ibekwe on Thursday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Akpan, former member of the House of Representatives was defeated by the speaker of the state house of assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke in the February 23 House of Representatives contest while Ibekwe was formerly the majority leader in the state house of assembly.
Both men defected during the PDP governorship grand rally held at the Uyo Township stadium.
Speaking at the rally, Ibekwe who hails from Essien Udim local government area with Senator Godswill Akpabio said: “Today, I celebrate my political freedom. I thank Governor Udom Emmanuel for what he has done for Annang by rehabilitating the only road to our community that was abandoned for so many years.”
In his speech, Emmanuel welcomed the defectors and commended Akwa Ibom people for voting the PDP on February 23, and urged them to come out to vote for the PDP on March 9, despite intimidation from desperate politicians.
“Let me appreciate all of you. All other political parties came here and collapsed their structure and declared for the PDP, I want to assure them in the PDP there are many mansions, the umbrella is big enough to accommodate everybody.”
“The PDP is big enough to cover them, PDP is the only party that can bring unity, development, bring infrastructure and preach righteousness. Today, I am here to tell Akwa Ibom people that I appreciate for your love and support, I salute you for standing firm, and for being resilient in letting the world know the difference between light and darkness, and the difference between God and man,” he said.
The governor however, cautioned security agencies against intimidation of the electorate but to continue to join hands with his government to maintain peace and security in the state.
In his remarks, the director general, Divine Mandate Organisation, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd) called on Akpabio to congratulate Mr. Chris Ekpenyong, who defeated him at the February 23 national assembly polls in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district.