HEADLINE | Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
By Harris-Okon Emmanuel
UYO–With barely a month to the March 2, 2019 governorship election, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, who is contesting for a second term in office on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has lost another aide, Mr. Utibe Ibanga to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr. Ibanga, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Projects, defected alongside a former Chairman of Ikot Ekpene Local Government, Mr. David Umana, during the APC campaign rally at the Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium.
Governor Udom Emmanuel has suffered mass resignations from his government in recent months by aides, mostly citing poor working conditions.
The aides that have resigned are Barr Chris Okorie, Special Assistant on Electoral Matters, Elder Ibanga Etang, Special Assistant on Project Monitoring, Pastor Abasiandikan Nkono, Special Assistant on Projects, Barr Utibe Idem, Special Assistant on Projects and Mr Umo Assiak, Special Assistant on Projects. Others are, Mr Anietie Ebe, Special Assistant on Project Monitoring, Barr Mfon Udeme, Special Assistant on Electoral Matters, Mr Joe Iniodu, Special Assistant on Media, Dr Idorenyin Esikot, Special Assistant on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, Dr. Anthony Usoro, Senior Special Assistant on Demographic Planning, Mr Godswill Ekpenyong, Special Assistant on Projects and Mr Derek Tower Umoh, Special Assistant on Projects.
Two commissioners, Mr Victor Antai and Barr Ibanga Akpabio, also resigned and defected to the APC from the PDP.
Mr. Ibanga’s defection came barely a day after two former local government chairmen, Barr. Ukana Udofia (Ibesikpo Asutan) and Dr. Eventus Edem (Uruan), and a popular comedian and former Supervisor in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government, Mr. Usukoson Etim (Inim), dumped the PDP during the APC campaign rally in Ibesikpo Asutan.
Addressing the rally, Barr. Udofia said he was defecting with over 1,000 PDP members.
“The spirit led me to leave. We have been offered the best as Akwa Ibom people through the candidacy of Obong Nsima Ekere and we have no option than to join that team in order to get the best,” he said.
Dr. Edem, a former state PDP Caucus Member, declared that “with my entry into APC today, PDP has finally collapsed in Uruan.”
Mr. Etim said he left PDP because of alleged marginalization and canvassed support for all APC candidates in the elections.