The defection of the factional Publicity Secretary of the Akwa Ibom state chapter of the APC, Obong Samuel Udobong and tens of others, characterised the ongoing village to village campaign by the Eket local government campaign and mobilization team, ahead of the December 2, 2017 local government elections.
Udobong, a founding member of the APC in the state, stormed into the Afaha Atai village hall during the PDP campaigns at the village square to announce his sudden decision to the pleasant surprise of the Chairmanship candididate Mr Frank Archibong, his running mate Nsikak John and the councillorship candidates.
The APC stalwart who had never been a member of PDP since inception, said he was tired of the impunity and deceit that has rocked the APC in recent times, adding that he was impressed with Governor Udom Emmanuel’s leadership qualities in the state.
“With people like Frank Archibong and Governor Udom Emmanuel, PDP will continue to succeed in Akwa Ibom and I cannot help but join the team,” the APC spokesman said while shredding his APC membership card, his APC t-shirt, and other APC materials in his possession, to the admiration, applause and cheers of the PDP family.
Receiving the decampees, the chapter chairman of the PDP Obongiwaad Emman Mbong and the chairmanship candidate of the party, Hon. Frank Archibong commended the APC publicity secretary for standing on the side of truth.
Mr Archibong said he was also coming as a fore runner to ensure that Governor Emmanuel re-emerges as Governor in 2019.
Fifty villages in eight wards of the local government area have so far been visited, they include the two villages in Central 5, six villages in Okon development one, eight villages in Okon 2, four communities in Urban 1, Five communities in Central four and six villages in Urban 3. Others include 8 villages in Central 1 and 10 villages in Central 3.
At each of the villages, the leaders, youths and women of the community led by the village head receive and assure the team of their support and confidence in Governor Udom Emmanuel, Frank Archibong and the PDP, which they reasoned remains a tradition in the area.
The Chairmanship candidate who had earlier separately paid homage to the paramount ruler of the area Obong E. C. D. Abia, the clan head of Eket Offiong, Obong Samuel Edohoeket and that of Okon, Obong Akpabio Ekpoton for their royal blessings before proceeding into the different villages.
All the royal fathers in Eket so far visited have spoken in strong support of Mr Archibong’s candidacy, urging him to work closely with the Governor to attract more developments to the area.
They stressed that Frank Archibong had never been found wanting in previous assignments, offering their blessings to the chairmanship candidate and all his team members.
In all the villages, Mr Frank Archibong thanked the people for believing in the PDP, and urged continuous support for Gov. Udom Emmanuel to be re-elected in 2019.
He asserted that since Gov. Emmanuel who is the leader of the party has provoked development in the state, he will strive to emulate the kind gesture of the Governor in the local government level when voted into office.
Archibong urged everyone to keep their voters card intact, and perform their constitutional rights come December 2.
In the nine villages, representatives of the community took their time to applaud the PDP team for embarking on a rigorous campaign, not minding the structures they have already built in the local government.
They shared their challenges with the team and were assured of impactful leadership once they vote Frank Archibong into office.
The campaigns had commenced with a visit to Nditia Peninsula, a coastal village on the north bank of Qua Iboe River, and the campaign team including the state treasurer of the Party, Akpadia Ebitu, the Campaign Manager, Chief A. S. Idim all made used of boats without life jackets.
The Peninsula, commonly called “Iko-Atai” by the locals is one of the Mobil Core Oil bearing Communities, strategically located as one of the few riverine gateways of Eket.
The campaign team moved to Eket Urban 2 and Eket Urban 4 on Tuesday before finally rounding off at Eket Central 2 on Wednesday this week.
26 villages are yet to be visited.