The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, hails from Eket Federal Constituency while the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, comes from the Ikot Ekpene area.
The defection is believed to be part of political realignments ahead of the 2019 general election.
Ikot Ekpene is the political headquarters of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District which Akpabio represents in the Senate.
Our correspondent learnt that the defection has caused panic within the PDP and Emmanuel’s cabinet particularly as most of the defectors are said to be Akpabio’s allies.
Receiving the defectors at his residence in Eket, Mr. Bassey Dan-Abia (Jnr.), a former member of the House of Representatives for the Eket Federal Constituency, who defected to the APC on Monday, commended the other defectors on Saturday for taking what he called a bold and courageous decision to follow him to the APC.
Dan-Abia asked his political loyalists to respect constituted authorities, especially the APC-led Federal Government.
He assured them that the Federal Government had many good programmes for the state, particularly Eket Federal Constituency which is the oil-producing hub of the state.
Dan-Abia, a former PDP state officer, asked the new APC members to avoid politics of blackmail, character assassination and mud-slinging against opponents, adding that politics should be played with decorum and without bitterness.
He urged them to embark on grassroots campaign to win more members to the APC.
In Ikot Ekpene, a former board member of the Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission, Mr. Ime Mboho, led the crowd of defectors.
Mboho had earlier served as the PDP chapter secretary, former councilor and a former caretaker chairman in the area.
Addressing the gathering, Mboho stated that he was leaving the PDP not to spite or disgrace anybody but because of injustice and impunity in the party.
“We are leaving the PDP for good. This is a party that has not learnt from its past mistakes but continues to hold on tenaciously to impunity. The PDP does not value commitment.
“Other people in Ikot Ekpene have to make hay while the sun shines by joining the APC which has the people’s interest at heart,” he said.
He urged politicians to be truthful to their followers and be honest in their political dealings.
He said his decision to dump the PDP was hard but not painful.
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