More members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State have joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).
One of the defectors is Utibe Ibanga, an aide of Governor Udom Emmanuel. Ibanga, until Tuesday, was Governor Emmanuel’s Assistant on Projects.
Other defectors include former chairman of Ikot Ekpene council David Umana. The defectors joined APC during its campaign rally at the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium.
Ibanga said he was quitting the government because of the governor’s lack of interest in the welfare of his aides.
Emmanuel has suffered mass resignations from his government in recent months by aides, mostly citing poor working conditions and the governor’s lack of electoral value.
Those who have resigned their appointment are: Chris Okorie (Special Assistant on Electoral Matters); Elder Ibanga Etang (Special Assistant on Project Monitoring); Pastor Abasiandikan Nkono (Special Assistant on Projects); Utibe Idem (Special Assistant on Projects); Umo Assiak (Special Assistant on Projects) and Anietie Ebe (Special Assistant on Project Monitoring).
Others are: Mfon Udeme (Special Assistant on Electoral Matters); Joe Iniodu (Special Assistant on Media); Idorenyin Esikot (Special Assistant on Small & Medium Scale Enterprises); Dr. Anthony Usoro (Senior Special Assistant on Demographic Planning); Godswill Ekpenyong (Special Assistant on Projects) and Derek Tower Umoh (Special Assistant on Projects).
Two commissioners – Victor Antai and Ibanga Akpabio, also resigned and defected to the APC from the PDP.
Ibanga’s defection came barely a day after two former local government chairmen, Ukana Udofia (Ibesikpo Asutan) and Dr. Eventus Edem (Uruan) and a popular comedian and former Supervisor in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Govermment, Usukoson Etim (Inim), dumped the PDP during the APC campaign rally in Ibesikpo Asutan.
Addressing the rally, Udofia said he was defecting with over 1,000 PDP members, having been led by the “spirit”.
He said: “The spirit led me to leave. We have been offered the best as Akwa Ibom people through the candidacy of Obong Nsima Ekere and we have no option than to join that team in order to get the best.”
Dr. Edem, a PDP Caucus member in the state, declared: “With my entry into APC today, PDP has finally collapsed in Uruan.”
Etim said he left the PDP because of marginalisation and canvassed support for all APC candidates.