Senator Eme Ekaette, representing Akwa Ibom South senatorial zone and former state deputy governor, Valerie Ebe, on Tuesday, September 11, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that others who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC are retired deputy inspector general of police, Udom Ekpoudom, and former chairman of Eka local government, Francis Ikpon.
The state chairman of APC, Ini Okpobodi, received the defectors at a solidarity district rally and reception held for Obong Nsima Ekere at Eket. Okpobodi said at the occasion that the PDP had virtually collapsed in the state.
“On behalf of Akwa Ibom APC, I stand as chairman to receive the latest members of our party in their hundreds in the state. They are here ably led by former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom, Valerie Ebe and Distinguished Senator Eme Ekaette,” he said.
Okpobodi handed over the defectors to the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, represented by the national vice-chairman of APC south south, Hillary Eta.
Eta expressed delight at the defection of the former PDP chieftains into APC fold, describing the defectors as `wonderful Nigerians’.
“I am the luckiest national vice chairman in APC because I am superintending over the fast growing people in the party,” he said.
He explained that APC started with one senator in the south south but today the party has eight senators of Federal Republic of Nigeria in the south south.
“Not too long from now, I promise you, we are going to have a majority of senators of South South from the APC in the National Assembly,” Eta said.
He said that when President Buhari-led government took over power in 2015, things were difficult but today things are getting better.
“It is not yet completely good but it is getting better,” he added.
He urged Akwa Ibom people to vote massively for President Buhari during the 2019 general elections in the state, saying that the present administration was not corrupt.
“I receive to this party, Her Excellency, Valerie Ebe and Senator Eme Ekaette and others to APC in the state.
Ebe said: “I saw that without changing to APC, we will be doing serious mistakes.’’
The former deputy governor said that the government of PDP in the state had not performed well.
“We turn around and say if we are not members of the ruling party we will lose out at the national level. We have been suffering in the PDP-led government in the state. So we say so long as we have APC government led by President Buhari we are fine,” she said.