April 8, 2024

A’Ibom opposition parties chide PDP over defection, collapsed structure claims

Akwa Ibom

* People went to collect PDP money, not defection – YPP 

* PDP defection claim a jamboree – APC

By Egufe Yafugborhi and Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

Opposition political parties in Akwa Ibom State have chided the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that they have collapsed their structures into the ruling party in the state after their members defected to the PDP.

Some state opposition leaders and stakeholders who spoke to newsmen on the issue in Uyo during the weekend described the humongous figures of 37,874 defectors claimed by the PDP as not only misleading but also intended to score cheap political points.

It could be recalled that the leaders of the PDP in the state, in an event held penultimate week at the Ibom Hall Grounds Uyo, claimed that opposition parties, particularly the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Young People’s Party (YPP), and the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in the state, had all joined their party. 

Reacting State Chairman of YPP, Mr Wisdom Udoka, said the party was still intact in Akwa Ibom against the claim by the PDP that his party had collapsed its structure for the PDP after the members had all returned to the PDP.

His words: “Such a thing did not happen because about three canopies were in the Ibom Hall Grounds, so YPP in Akwa Ibom is intact. I am the state chairman, and my secretary is there, as is the spokesperson of the party. My executive is intact.

“I have my chapter chairmen and every ward chairmen. The few members who defected before are begging to come back now. So what the PDP is claiming is outright falsehood.

“People went to collect money. Things are too tough. Most defectors who claim to be members of YPP are not our members, so I debunk the falsehood that YPP has collapsed into the PDP.”

Also reacting, the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, OtoAbasi Udo, asserted, “The PDP is shopping for members by all means; hence, it is inflating figures of those who have defected to the party.

“There is no way members of the APC can leave the party in droves because our party is at the centre and the leaders of the party in the state are strengthening the party. We are preparing to take over the state by 2027, and the signs are there. 

“It is fear of the APC that is making the PDP  make outrageous claims. So it is not true that hundreds of our members have defected to the PDP. What you saw at the Ibom Hall grounds was just a jamboree. Akwa Ibom people should not be deceived.”

There are even speculations in some quarters in the state capital that the defection claims by the PDP leadership are not unconnected with the recent visit of the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to the state, where he declared that the APC will take over Akwa Ibom in 2027.