By Chioma Onuegbu Uyo

A total of five hundred and eighty chapter and ward officers of the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom state so far have defected to the Young Progressives Party, YPP, with Senator Bassey Akpan.

Senator Akpan who is currently representing Uyo Senatorial district, and leader of the Akwa Ibom caucus in the National Assembly recently emerged governorship candidate of the YPP in a re-conducted governorship primary election of the party.

The State Chairman of defection and inter-party committee of YPP Barr. Usenobong Akpabio disclosed the figure of officers who defected to YPP from the PDP to newsmen yesterday.

Akpabio who is the Akwa Ibom NorthEast senatorial candidate of the party also coordinates the committee saddled with the responsibility of receiving and documenting persons defecting from other political parties to the YPP.

His words: “As at the day Obong Bassey Akpan declared publicly for governorship in YPP, we wanted to showcase them (defectors), but there was no opportunity to do it. As at that day I had counted 580 officers.

“The defection is on-going. A lot of officers are leaving the PDP. Like on Monday 15th August, two officers, and a woman leader from Onna left the PDP and joined us.

“I have their records I have their resignation letters. They have formally enrolled in the YPP as members. Membership registration is on going. Officers of the PDP are defecting from all the local government areas across the state but in Ibiono Ibom, the defection is massive.

” Ibiono Ibom LGA has the largest number of officers of PDP defecting to the YPP., from the chapter chairman to the ward chairmen, to other officers. We have also a large turnover in Uyo, Ikono, Ini, Esit Eket, Itu, Eastern Obolo, Ibeno. There is no local government , grassroots that is spared”.

Barr. Akpabio described the YPP as the fastest growing party in the state, stressing, I don’t know how else one would say that there is a grassroots appeal. I can tell you that as far as the grassroots is concerned, YPP is there.
Chapter and ward officers of the PDP started leaving the party in dozens early last month.

“Aside the party officers, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikono/Ini Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, and two members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Usoro Akpanusoh and Mr. Nana Udo, representing Edit Eket/Ibeno and Ikono state constituencies respectively have also defected to the YPP.

“Former Commissioner for Works who later served as Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Ephraim Inyang, and the immediate past Commissioner for Labour and Manpower Planning, Mr. Sunny Ibuot, who resigned from the state executive council in March have joined the YPP.

“Two special assistants to the governor resigned their appointment in June to join the YPP. However, the PDP has started filling replacement for the defected officers”

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