Joe Effiong, Uyo
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has given conditions for reaccepting Sen Godswill Akpabio into its fold should he seek to come back to the party.
Akpabio, is the immediate past former governor of Akwa Ibom State and currently representing Akwa Ibom North West otherwise called Ikot Ekpene senatorial distinct. He defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC) on August 8, 2018, after resigning at the Senate Minority Leader.
But reacting to a recent court ruling which held that Akpabio only defected after he had been expelled from the party at the ward level, the PDP in Akwa Ibom State said if Akpabio was still in love with the PDP based on his body language, then he had to purge himself of all anti-party activities.
The Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Mr Ini Ememobong said: ” PDP is like the Kingdom of God which accepts everybody that has shown true repentance. The only difference is that we don’t have a place where we ask one to go and undergo baptism to wash themselves clean.
“So if he is still in love with the party, he has to show some characteristics consistent with our philosophy and that must be seen by everybody. We don’t chase people away. And we don’t expel people from the party without due process. But we don’t accept people who work against our collective interest as he has been doing since his defection.
“We never expelled him in the first place. All of us here know that based on the kind of person Senator Akpabio is, if the party had expelled him today, the next day CNN and BBC could have carried the report,” the party spokesman said.
Expatiating on the allegation of expulsion, the state Vice Chairman of PDP for Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, Mr Cletus Eshiet, said in a press release made available to our correspondent that PDP at whatever level in the senatorial district never expelled Akpabio at whatever time before he defected in August 2018 to APC.
“The allegation by Senator Godswill Akpabio, the senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district (Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District) that he was expelled from our party, hence his movement to the All Progressives Congress prior to the 2019 general elections is arguable one of the most alarming allegations to have been made by a political office holder from our state in contemporary times.
“Senator Akpabio who until August 8, 2018, was a member of our distinguished party was not expelled by our party at any point and neither was any process commenced for his removal under the guidelines as provided for in the constitution of our party.
“Any person who knows the personality of Senator Akpabio very well knows that if such was ever attempted or muted, he would have very eminently featured the same expulsion in his exodus messages.
“In facts, Senator Akpabio was endorsed for a second term in office as the senator representing the aforementioned senatorial district, at a mega rally organised by our senatorial district on July 16, 2018, under my leadership. At that rally, it was only His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel and the senator that were officially endorsed by the senatorial district of our party. It was not up to a month after this endorsement that the senator resigned as the minority leader of the Senate, a position he occupied sequel to his being elected to the Senate on the platform and sponsorship of our party and subsequently made public is defection from our party.
“It is true that since our party endorsed the senator on July 16, 2018, all our party members thought and were preoccupied with was how to ensure that the senator won a second term to the Senate and at no moment did we have the luxury of time to entertain or execute the thought of his expulsion.
“Akpabio defected from our party and was never expelled from our party. Our party had long moved on and through the grace of God, we have maintained our winning streak which demonstrates clearly that strong institutions will always triumph over the vagaries of individual wishes and acclaimed prowess and strength.
“The senator in good wisdom should do well to also move on as a man intends at all times, the natural consequences of his actions,” he advised.