The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has welcomed back 20,000 people who left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking during the Awa Iman Ward 1 PDP meeting at Awa Iman Civic Centre, Onna Local Government Area, Emmanuel described the move as an indication of the party’s dominance in the state and assured the returnees of a sense of belonging to the party.
He appealed to party members across the 329 wards of the state to embrace and integrate the returnees back to the fold.
He said: “We are holding ward meetings to look at our ward structures, to do a review and also receive decamped members.
“In all the 329 wards of the state, we are receiving returnees to the party. 20,000 people returning to the party and there’s no way we could have done that at one location.
“What we are doing today is also to reassure the people that this is a PDP state and that we are ready to hold the ground and win the game.
“You can see that the who-is-who in the ward is here and as a party man I have also come down to my ward because nobody is above the party.”
The governor charged the party faithful to be committed and steadfast in the party to show cause for trust, and assured losers in the just concluded party primaries of inclusion in governance.
“In any election, one person has to emerge because there is only one seat to occupy, but all hopes are not lost for the others. Government is large enough to accommodate diverse interests. In politics, it is necessary to build trust. Be steadfast so that you can be trusted,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of returnees from, a former Vice Chairman of Onna Local Government Council and Chapter Secretary of the APC, Hon. Julius Okon, said his defection to the then ACN and subsequently, APC followed his close ties with some persons on the other side of the political divide and a seemingly promising future.
Okon stated that he has returned with the main structure of the APC, to the PDP where he had been a foundational member.
He appealed to the governor and the leadership of PDP to protect their interest and other decamped members in Onna LGA, saying their return to the PDP was to “identify with the obvious and laudable development strides of Governor Emmanuel led government and to support his succession plan.”