National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Saturday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State received a former senate leader, Chief Victor Ndoma-Egba as well as a former governor of the state, Mr. Clement Ebri and Senator Bassey Otu to the party.
Odigie-Oyegun, who received over 1,000 defectors mainly from the Peoples Democratic Party, at the Government Primary School in Atu, Calabar-South, said the party was ready to take over the leadership of the state in the next general elections.
Other notable personalities that defected included a former representative of Cross River State on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr. Paul Adah, an ex-PDP state chairman, Ambassador Soni Abang, a former governorship aspirant of the PDP, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba, a former Labour Party governorship candidate, Mr. Fidelis Ugbo, a PDP governorship aspirant in the last election, Mr. Francis Bullem, another candidate for the Progressives Peoples Alliance, Mr. Goddie Akpama, among others.
Odigie-Oyegun said the defection was a signal that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was moving in the right direction.
He said, “What these wonderful people are doing here is to attest to the fact that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is doing the right thing. These people are the shakers and movers of the politics of Cross River State. They are declaring that they are agents of change.
“We do not have Ghana-must-go sack to give to people but as a party, we believe that the nation must be governed with the thought of the people in our minds. This is the time for the people of this country.”
Odigie-Oyegun personally handed the party’s symbol (broom) to Otu, Ndoma-Egba and Jedy-Agba on behalf of defectors from Cross River south, central and northern senatorial districts respectively.
National Vice Chairman of APC in the South-South, Mr. Hilliard Etta, said the defectors had shown by their action that the era of impunity in Cross River State was over.
Etta said with the successful defection of the bigwigs, the PDP in Cross River State has become an empty party.
Earlier on arrival at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar, Odigie-Oyegun said the party was not jittery over the Supreme Court’s ruling which favoured the PDP governorship candidates in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states.
The Supreme Court had recently ruled in favour of governors, Nyesom Wike and Udom Emmanuel, who were the PDP candidates in the 2015 governorship elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states respectively.
According to him, contrary to insinuations that the party is finding it difficult to accept the apex court ruling, the party only desired to know what informed the judgement.
He, however, noted that the outcry over the ruling so far has been that of individual members and not the party.
He said, “The APC is not finding it difficult to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court, all we are after is to know why the ruling in the first place. No one can question the decision of the Apex Court.”[Punch]