By Gloria Uko
The Ikot Ekpene chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, remains intact, unshaken, and ready for election at any time, says Engr. Etido Inyang.
Making further clarifications, the former special duties commissioner slammed the defection that reportedly took place in Ikot Ekpene Local Government last Saturday, describing it as nothing but a ruse and staged-managed event.
‘The crowd that was seen and falsely reported as defectors were a mix of already existing members of the All Progressive Congress in Ikot Ekpene, indigenes who were already within the location of the event engaging in their personal business and members of APC from other local government areas who were obviously mobilized to hype it and create a false impression. And of course, our (PDP) members were also there to monitor their lies’, Inyang clarified.
He continued: ‘The faces in the pictures being circulated by hawkers of falsehood has been scrutinized. Ninety nine percent of what was reported by the APC propaganda machine is absolutely false.’
Inyang stated that there is no cause for alarm as the Ikot Ekpene will queue enmasse behind the PDP and support Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second term in 2019.
An APC online media arm in Akwa Ibom State bandied the figures of those who defected at ‘over 500’.
But independent investigations by this reporter reveal the figure as mischievous and misleading.
According to an HND 1 student of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic who was at the event and simply gave his name as Udofia, ‘the sum total of those who reportedly defected was no where near five hundred. The ‘over 500’ number being circulated is exaggeratory. I was there to the end. I am an indigene of Ikot Ekpene and from ward 10. The number couldn’t have been more than forty. Most of the decampees were already members of the APC and they merely came out to publicly announce their membership.
‘Such colouration was not unexpected though, considering the addiction for sensationalism and love for outright falsehood of those involved,’ said Uke.
Meanwhile, Engr. Inyang, dismissing the defection as an isolated case in the area, said the local government has largely remained a one-party affair for many years now as a result of collective understanding by the people. That established pattern, according to him, will be upheld beyond 2019.
According to him, the PDP in Ikot Ekpene believe that every party member is important and so accord them a sense of relevance.
‘We are building a political family and we aim for one hundred percent PDP family. We will continue to work towards achieving this goal.
‘PDP still holds a better offer in the days ahead. The party is still the best political vehicle for Akwa Ibom people in the journey to greatness. It is also the most credible and sensitive to the challenges of statehood and nation building that confront us.
‘We have to keep faith and trust the party and the government of Deacon Udom Emmanuel. The governor has brought commitment and passion to governance and we have to support his genuine intentions’.
Earlier, last Thursday, in an enlarged stakeholders meeting chaired by Sen. Emmanuel Ibokette, an appraisal was undertaken and resolutions arrived at. One of such resolutions was to strengthen the capacity of PDP in the area and expand the support base of Governor Emmanuel as 2019 draws near. A vote of confidence was also passed on the governor for the commitment and passion he has brought to governance.
Those who spoke at the enlarged stakeholders meeting were Sen. Ibokette, Engr. Sam Inyang, Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere, Dr. Nse Essien (Commissioner for Science and Technology), Engr. Etido Inyang, Rt. Hon. Nsikak Ekong, David Umana (Transition Chairman), Elijah Udofa, David Okon (PDP chapter chairman), Obonganwan Abigail Akpan (PDP Chapter Women Leader) Obonganwan Lucy, Otuekong Akpan, and Kufre Inima who represented the youths.