Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A gale of defection hit the nation’s political sphere, on Tuesday, as a former member of the House of Representatives for Uyo Federal Constituency, Bassey Etim, defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Etim, who defected to the ruling party with 6, 000 of his supporters, said his decision was a protest against impunity.
In his speech made available to Daily Sun, the former two-term federal lawmaker lamented that the situation in the PDP had gone from bad to worse with dysfunctional ideologies and politicians desperate to occupy office at all cost. alliance.
He reportedly said this at the ceremony held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, on the sideline of the inauguration of the APC state secretariat by the National Vice Chairman, South-South of the APC, Ntufam Hilliard Eta.
Those in attendance, according to him, were the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, and top officials of the party from within and outside the state.
According to him; “This occasion is not just another defection but a protest against impunity, a protest against turning a political party and the state apparatuses into a ‘one man show’, a protest against endemic lack of party democracy, and a protest against confused grand alliance”.
“In the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the situation has gone from bad to worse with dysfunctional ideologies and politicians desperate to occupy office at all cost.
“I dare say that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Having considered the situation in PDP, which is akin to that of a sinking ship, I and my supporters have therefore decided to join the sage boat.
“I consulted widely and in the process many people resolved to follow me and defect to APC. Today I have with me over 2000 persons willing to join APC.
“Mr. Chairman, Akwa Ibom North East is the heart beat of Akwa Ibom Politics. The Senatorial District controls about 66 per cent of the total votes in Akwa Ibom State.
“Whenever a political party wins the Senatorial District, it wins the State. We therefore hold the key to any election victory. We are determined to make great impact in all the elections.
“Akwa Ibom State is too strategic to be in the hands of the opposition party especially the kind of opposition that pride itself as ‘enemy’ to change. May I borrow a phrase from the National Chairman ‘the conservative right way party’.
“The rare victory is because the Akwa Ibom North East senatorial district is one of the leading senatorial districts in the country that has been practicing zoning of Senatorial representation since 1978 till date, which rotates amongst the three federal constituency that make up the senatorial district.
“Nigerians want leadership not partisanship, they need a leader who can do the right thing and unite the nation and that is what the APC represent.
“We are determined to join hands and bring to an end these age long anomalies. It is a fight that we must keep up now and for the rest of our lives.
“We are saying enough is enough. We are very hospitable, honest, and sincere but Party Politics has torn us apart. We want to take back our heritage, our pride and our joy.
“We believe that the All Progressive Congress is a party of hope and a party for all generations” Etim added.
Meanwhile, the National Vice Chairman, South -South of the APC, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, while receiving Etim and the other defectors, including another former House of Representatives member from Oron, Esio Oquong Udo, promised that they (defectors) would not be sidelined in the activities and benefits in the party.