The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Udung Uko Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has suffered the devastating loss of over 450 members to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The defectors joined the APC on Wednesday during a visit to the APC Campaign Office along Four Lanes in Uyo.
They were led by Mr Obiosio Obisio, the PDP Udung Uko Local Government Chapter Youth Leader, Messrs Peter Effanga and Sam Effiong, two other members of the chapter executive and Ulap Nyong Edumoh, the proprietor of St. Dominic Comprehensive College, a popular school in Oron Local Government Area.
Mr Obiosio said with their coming APC would win all the elections in Udung Uko, one of the five local government areas in Oron Nation, the third largest ethnic group in Akwa Ibom State.
Ulap Edumoh said they were moved to join APC because of the impact Obong Nsima Ekere, the APC Governorship Candidate has created in Oron Nation with road construction as Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Dr Amadu Attai, the APC Deputy Governorship Candidate who represented Obong Ekere, said the defection was earlier scheduled for the APC campaign visit to Udung Uko in a few weeks time but had to be brought forward because of the insistence of the defectors that they could not wait that long.
Dr Attai, who said he was familiar with Udung Uko politics having spent almost all his life in Oron, described APC as the only party close to the grassroots.
“We are taking over Akwa Ibom State come rain come shine,” he declared.
Receiving the defectors on behalf of the State APC Chairman, Dr Ita Udosen, the APC State Deputy Chairman, hailed them for seeing the light and assured them of proper integration into APC and equal opportunities in the party with old members.
Prince Victor Antai, the APC House of Representatives Candidate for Oron Federal Constituency, hailed the defectors for following him into APC which he said was heading for victory in the elections.
“I am happy that you have come to join me in APC. One thing that I know very sure is that APC will win Akwa Ibom State and that Obong Nsima Ekere and Dr Amadu Attai will become the next Governor and Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State. The major players that used to make things happen are all in APC. They were the kingmakers in APC. Anybody that tells you that there are no kingmakers in any society is deceiving you. In Akwa Ibom State, the kingmakers have met and have decided that Obong Nsima Ekere will be the next Governor of Akwa Ibom State. So you are not in the wrong place. You are in the right place,” he said.
Engr Uduak Okpo, a leader of APC in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area who was present, said APC had taken over everywhere in Akwa Ibom State.