Former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State, Chief Otu Ita Otoyo has defected to the All Progressives Congress. He defected alongside a former senator, Aloysius Etok and former member of the House of Representatives, Eseme Eyiboh.
These decampees including former chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area and many others were received into the party at a prayer summit and reception held in honour of Obong Umana Umana, candidate of the APC in the last governorship election.
The reception followed his victory at the Appeal Court.
The decampees noted that the PDP was no longer the party they once believed in. They lamented that it has been hijacked by a few people.
Toyo berated the PDP for deviating from the ideals upon which the party was founded. He said it was that deviation that caused Akwa Ibom people to seek change.
He called on people of the state to embrace the change which APC represents.
“We brought change to Akwa Ibom in 2007, but that change has been hijacked by a few people for themselves. I screamed but nobody listened, today, Akwa Ibom people have decided for change and as such have moved to a new party”, he said.
Two term senator, Aloysius Etok, on his part, thanked Umana Umana for “championing the struggle to liberate the state”, assuring that the APC administration will redeem the state and reposition it to acheive unfulfilled potentials.
Also speaking, Eseme Eyibo, who was former spokesperson of the House of Representatives, said he was joining the APC, to “take part in the struggle to rescue the state and its people”. He maintained that things cannot be allowed to continue as they are.
Receiving the decampees into the party, South-South National Vice Chairman of the APC, Chief Elias Eta, said this time around, they would defend every vote cast by the party in Akwa Ibom.
He lamented the violence that marred the last election and urged the people not to be intimidated by the PDP, assuring that security agents and thugs will not be allowed to disrupt the forthcoming rerun.
“The former governor, Godswill Akpabio has done a lot of things and he will be made to account for them. All those who are working against good governance will not be allowed to succeed”, he said.
Finally, the APC candidate, Obong Umana Umana hailed the decampees for their courage, saying with their support and that of Akwa Ibom electorate, they will reclaim “their stolen mandate”.
He thanked the people for standing against what he called tyranny and injustice, stating that, “the God of justice and blood of innocent voters killed during the the past election will see the party to victory”.
“The victories at both the tribunal and Appeal Court are not just for me as a person. They are for the people. You have proven that no weapon or amount of money can break you. The battle is between freedom and slavery and this event has shown that the people have chosen freedom”, he added.
He urged the people to further show their support by turning up en mass to cast their votes during the forthcoming elections.
The APC Candidate hailed President Muhammad Buhari for his anti-corruption stance, urging him to carry on. He assured the president of the support of Akwa Ibomites.
Earlier, Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Chief Ita Awak, said the turn out at the event is an indication that money is not the ultimate.
“Today, we have put to shame people who say what money cannot do, more money will. We did not give these people here anything. We only appealed to their concience, to come together and pray so that the state can be exorcised. The people came here to rescue themselves. What you are seeing is a mass movement. The state is the richest in Nigeria, yet the people are not feeling the impact. Change has come and there is no going back.”