37,874 defectors join PDP in A’Ibom

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No fewer than 37,874 members of opposition political parties in Akwa Ibom State were, on Friday, received into the Peoples Democratic Party by the state governor, Pastor Umo Eno.

Receiving the returnees who hitherto were members of the All Progressives Congress, Young Progressives Party, New Nigeria People’s Party, and Social Democratic Party among other political parties, the governor cautioned them against disrespect to leaders, especially at the centre.

“We welcome you sincerely into our party, The PDP is not a party that insults leaders, as you come back, one of the things I want you to drop is an attack on leaders. For example, the President of the country, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We have to show him optimum respect and support.

“The PDP I run doesn’t attack leaders. We have to support leaders and not fight them because as a pastor, I am trained to respect people. We must show the character of humility, compassion, and respect to constituted authorities. That we will continue to do as a party, “the governor stated.

He stressed that growth and progress can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace, love and unity, urging them to collapse all past structures in their possession to the PDP structure to show sincerity of purpose and seriousness.

Eno promised the returnees equal opportunities to serve in the party and the state, as the PDP umbrella is large enough to accommodate everybody in the state.

“If we truly love our state, if we truly love the people, let us realise that we have no other than Akwa Ibom and we need to work together as a people irrespective of ethnic affection.

“Thank you for coming to this realisation, we receive you today because we are one, we come from one stock, thank you for understanding that it is only in the atmosphere of peace and unity that there can be progress. We have accepted you wholeheartedly, without segregation. We have spoken to the leadership of all the units, wards, and local government areas to receive and work with you for the growth of the PDP, “he maintained.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the state PDP chairman, Aniekan Akpan, described the reception rally as the mother of all rallies in the state, only second to what was witnessed in December 2022.

The party boss assured that returnees who are mostly former leaders of the PDP of full reintegration into the family.

Presenting them to the governor and the people of the state, Akpan pledged to work together in unison, to ensure the growth of the PDP in the state, noting that being former leaders of the PDP, their action amounted to an expression of confidence in the achievements of Umo Eno’s led administration in just nine months.

He noted that a compilation of the data of all the returnees was available to show facts in the figures presented from all the units, wards, and local government areas where they came from.

“On the order of the governor, we collated the data of all those that wanted to defect to the PDP from other parties.

“Following what we did jointly with the political Adviser to the governor, Prince Godwin Ntukude Ph., we have a record of over 37,000 members of other political parties who indicated interest to return to the PDP today”, Akpan explained.

Speaking on behalf of the returnees, leaders of other parties,  including former state secretary of APC, Nkereuwem Enyong Ekere, and Emmanuel Uko Etteh of YPP among others, expressed their sincere readiness to collapse all their structures and work for the PDP.

They, however, expressed gratitude to the governor for the huge investment in agriculture and other live-touching projects within just nine months in office.

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