Several rallies were held on Wednesday in some local governments in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district of Akwa Ibom State in protest of the defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC)
Before Akpabio was received into the APC, some stakeholders in the senatorial district gathered at Ritman College to denounce Akpabio’s move, while also reaffirming their support for Governor Udom Emmanuel.
According to Emmanuel Ibok Essien, former deputy chief whip of the senate and founder of Ritman University, the resignation of Godswill Akpabio as senate minority leader was without the support of the people, adding that his move was a shameful act.
Essien, who said he was the director general of Akpabio’s senatorial campaign, said he was appalled that the former senate minority leader took the decision to defect without the courtesy of informing him and other dignitaries in the district, maintaining that the people had withdrawn the endorsement and the support they had earlier given to Akpabio.
“Since we heard that Akpabio was going to defect, it has been a shameful thing to us and we as a people have withdrawn the earlier endorsement given to him,’’ he said.
Essien, who addressed the rally at the Ritman College, said his defection would mean a liberation to the people of the area, since according to him, out of the 54 appointments in the district, Akpabio got 34 for the people of his local government area, while Ikot Ekpene got only five.
He maintained that Udom, who is from Akwa Ibom south senatorial district of the state would serve for eight years since Akpabio from Ikot Ekpene senatorial district had also served for eight years.
Other speakers included; serving commissioners, like the commissioner for science and technology, Nse Essien and chairman of Ibom power company, Etido Inyang, as well as Sunny Ibuot, former chairman of Ikot Ekpene Local government, all denounced Akpabio’s defection, while pledging their support to Governor Udom Emmanuel.
It was gathered that similar rallies were held in all the local government headquarters of the senatorial district as a demonstration of the people against the defection of the former senate minority leader.
Meanwhile, at the Ikot Ekpene township stadium, Senator Akpabio was formally received into the APC by the party’s National Chairman Adams Oshiomole.