By Emeka Samuel, Uyo
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, suffered more defections in Akwa Ibom following the declaration at the weekend of Senator Bassey Akpan for the Young Progressives Party, YPP with more than 10,000 PDP members.
They include the member representing Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, Hon Emmanuel Ukpong ‘Udo and the lawmaker representing Ikono state constituency, Hon Asuquo Nana Udoh, in a YPP reception rally held in Uyo.
The event which had a chieftain of YPP, Senator Ifeanyi Uba and the state chairman of the YPP Pastor Nyenime Andy witnessed the national chairman of YPP, Bishop Emmanuel Amakiri formally receive Akpan and other chieftains of the PDP from across the 31 local government areas into YPP.
At the event, the state chairman, who was also the gubernatorial candidate of the party announced that he was stepping down for Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, popularly called OBA by his admirers.
The carnival-like event which was held exactly 15 days after OBA decamped from his former party, PDP, over 10,000 others from different parties including PDP, APC and others, announced their mass defection to YPP.
The national chairman of the party who charged the people that YPP has come to stay in Akwa Ibom adding that time has come for every young progressive Nigerian to take his destiny in his hands also expressed the pleasure that the masses have decided to rally round their popular son, OBA, to liberate Akwa Ibom from its current quagmire.
Amakiri described OBA as the best person that can take Akwa Ibom to its desired destination and urged the people to eschew and resist vote buying because it brought Nigeria to its present misfortune.
Akpan in his speech said that in line with the electoral laws,he willingly offered himself as an aspirant in the upcoming primaries for substitution, following Andy’s withdrawal of his candidacy.
He assured the delegates that if given the chance at the primary, he will not disappoint the party, adding that as a governor, all the civil servants will be treated to social justice, welfare, fairness and equity in the next dispensation.
The senator announced plans to work with others on the theme of “3Rs”, promising to “recover Akwa Ibom, reconcile Akwa Ibom back to God and reposition Akwa Ibom for greatness” declaring that hope is by the corner.
He said the next government would banish hunger, insecurity, hardship and injustice from the state and decried a situation where the current government has refused to pay imprests to the workers for over 18 months and owes over N18 billion in pensions.
While declaring that YPP will defeat PDP in all the units, OBA promised to clear gratuities and pensions as well as arrears of promotions as governor.
The event was preceded by the official unveiling of the state YPP secretariat and OBA’s campaign office in Uyo.