Before PDP Dies In Akwa Ibom

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BEFORE PDP DIES IN AKWA IBOM It has become crucial that I pen down this article, because, lately, *I am perturbed about the decreasing strength of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom state. 2019 is around the corner, I fear the party may not make it to the Hilltop Mansion. I am not a doom’s day prophet but, on the heels of daily defection by its chieftains, political officeholders and supporters to the All Progressive Congress (APC), any good political observer can conclude that this is not a good omen for the PDP. The party in the state seems boxed into the corner by the opposition APC.* Strange conclusion abi!? Okay, it all started on January 19, 2017, when the Senator representing Akwa Ibom South (Eket) senatorial district (where the governor hails from) in the Senate, Nelson Effiong, defected from the PDP to the APC during a plenary session of the senate. Senator Effiong had while leaving the PDP, said; “No reasonable politician who is worth his salt would remain and allow his people to be drifting about without a direction. So I have decided today, the 19th day of January, 2017 to resign from the PDP and move to the party that is bringing peace and direction to this country, the APC. So I move.” But the state PDP, through a statement dismissed the Senator’s claims as unfounded. The senator, if my mind has not failed me, also during a recorded radio interview with Planet 101.1 FM, Uyo, boasted that he was just leading the way for other aggrieved national assembly members from Akwa Ibom state to follow. He claimed that in a matter of weeks or months there would be defection from PDP. He was again dismissed by the state PDP as lying. The party (PDP) noted that its members remained intact and one indivisible entity. The Senator was vindicated at the weekend with the defection of another national assembly member, Emmanuel Ukoette. He represents Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency in the House of Reps. He is not the only key PDP member who has defected. There are others who do not like publicity, like the former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Barr Bassey Dan-Abia Snr.; and his younger brother, the former House of Representative member for Eket federal constituency, Barr Bassey Dan-abia Jnr. These are the major controller of political equation in Esit Eket LGA. In Ikot Abasi LGA aside from the MD of NDDC, Obong Nsima Ekere, recently, a former chapter chairman of Ikot Abasi PDP, Hon. Udo George led other members of his former exco to defect to APC. While in Itu, Obong Bassey Ekanem, the CEO of Base Engineering and major financier of the party’s activities in Oku Iboku clan also quitted, to mention a few, for want of space. It is not always enough for PDP defectors to be rained with all manner of abusive words and unprintable names by the party’s members and government officials on the media, instead of looking inward to find out why they are leaving the party. For me, this act is uncalled for. It should be stopped. It is likened to applying Panadol tablets for viral disease. It is no longer workable. It has failed to yield result in the past. Let PDP officials and the governor know that the party as it stance cannot win any election in 2019. Let the governor come out from his comfort zone, I mean, the Hilltop Mansion and start midnight visitation/meeting with key political players in the state. Why are key political players defecting from the party to APC? Who are next in line of defection? Where has the party got it wrong? Can anything be done to reverse the looming extinction of PDP in the state? Like I said at the beginning of this piece, I am not a prophet, but I can bet my grandpa’s imported shoes and coats that the sooner these avalanches of nagging questions are answered, the closer to victory PDP has become. Else!!!! “Deacon Udom Emmanuel will be remembered as a one-term Governor of Akwa Ibom state,” according to defected Senator Nelson Effiong. The bulk now rest on the ‘Executive’ table of Governor Udom Emmanuel. He is the leader of his party (PDP) in the state. Except he has no second term ambition, otherwise, it is even too late for him to start asking his party members questions. There is no smoke without fire. His party members maybe disenchanted with his style of governance. They may even be uncomfortable with the policy thrust of his administration, or maybe they are unhappy with attitudes of some appointed government officials in his cabinet. This is the time for Governor Emmanuel to find the black sheep before darkness covers. It is time for him, to remove his coat and tie; and wear t-shirts and jean trousers. The task ahead for him will be too hot for coats and tie attire, I can swear to anything, if he doubts me. Now is the time to think out a permanent solution to ending this defection menace in PDP. Anyone believing that PDP in Akwa Ibom state is still intact and strong as it was before 2015 general elections better wakes up from his fool’s paradise. • _Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator (Published March 7, 2017)_ Culled from Radar newspaper:
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