Akwa Ibom: PDP Delegates, Aspirants Threaten Mass Defection Over Congresses
UYO, Jan 04, (THEWILL) - PDP House of Assembly aspirants and delegates in Akwa Ibom state have threatened to defect en masse to other political parties following alleged irregularities in the constituency congresses held on January 03, 2010. The threat was issued when the politicians from 30 local governments’ areas of the state except Mkpat Enin led a protest to Governor Godswill Akpabio at government House along Willington Bassey way, complaining that there were no elections as there were no materials for the delegates to vote with. They also insisted that candidates were imposed on them. The aggrieved party men had stormed the government house with placards, protesting the governor’s intrusion in the Assembly primaries, saying he was the brain behind the hijack of election materials as perpetrated mostly by his aides. THEWILL gathered that, for fear of violence, the primaries of some local governments had to be conducted in some designated centers in Uyo, the capital city including police headquarters. One of the protesting delegates told THEWILL that so much money changed hands during the delegates’ elections. The delegate, who is from Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area stated that, a commissioner had bribed some 192 delegates loyal to the state government with close to N70million. The aggrieved party man stated that delegates were given N350, 000 each even as elections did not hold, saying he was shocked to hear the announcement of a winner on the local radio, when they were asked to come back for elections the following morning as there were no materials. THEWILL further gathered that the same happened in almost all the local councils in the state except for a few areas where the delegates’ elections were held.
The protesting delegates have therefore called on Governor Akpabio to redo the congresses. A PDP chieftain, Honourable Ita Enang, member representing Itu/ Ibiono federal constituency in the House of Representatives who reacted to the protest, advised the aggrieved delegates to keep calm and heed the advise of the party as their matter will not be taken lightly by the party hierarchy in the state.