PDP Secretariat, Abuja
The Akwa Ibom State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the people of Akwa Ibom South senatorial district are not taking kindly the recent defection of Senator Nelson Asuquo Effiong to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In particular, they are irked by the senator’s excuse that that any politician worth his salt will not remain in PDP. It would be recalled that Effiong won the seat to the upper chamber on the platform of the PDP during the 2015 general elections and less that two years after, he took the peoples mandate to APC.
The Senator, who hails from the same senatorial district with the governor, Emmanuel Udom has justified his movement to APC on the premise that the ruling party was bringing peace and direction to the country.
While announcing his defection from the PDP to APC recently, he said he decided that no reasonable politician 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.”
However, the state publicity secretary of PDP, Mr. Ini Ememobong frowned at the flimsy allegations Effiong adduced for defecting. On the excuse by Effiong that the PDP has reneged from an agreement that Governor Udom would serve a single term and hand over to him, Ememobong said, “The position of the law on the matter was very clear, as he called on the senator to prove if there was such agreement.
According to the party’s spokesman, “He who alleges must prove. If he says there was an agreement for the governor to run a single term, the needful is to prove beyond every reasonable doubt. But incidentally, there was no way such agreement would be made and the party would not be carried along.
“The person who was chairman as at the time in question is still the chairman today and the same person has told us that no such agreement occurred. Invariably, if such agreement were to be there why then is the party at the front burner and the front pusher of the endorsement of the governor.”
The party said this clearly negates the claim that there was an agreement “it was incumbent on the party to enforce the agreement but where no such agreement occurred.,” the status quo is maintained.
The party explained that the PDP faithful in Eket senatorial district, without any prompting, decided that having seen the achievements of the government the governor deserves a second term without any prompting.
According to Ememobong, “They took that position to the state caucus of the party where Nelson Effiong was seated, and the first to speak and endorse the governor on behalf of the Eket senatorial district.”
He also dispelled the allegations that Emmanuel allegedly disrespected Effiong, saying: “There is no public or private statement that Nelson Effiong can lay claim to show that the governor disrespects him, or that the governor does not value his representation or that he prefers another.”
On the excuse that the governor does not show interest in the Bill to upgrade Maritime Academy of Nigeria to a degree awarding institution, sponsored by Effiong and currently before the senate, the party spokesman said, “The truth is the incumbent Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi disclosed that the governor has repeatedly disturbed him and that he has shown concern over these processes and that he is inclined with the governor to bring that to bear. So between Rotimi Amaechi who said this and Effiong, who would you, believe?”
On the relationship between Senator Effiong and the party before his defection, the party spokesman said, “There is the need to ask party leaders in Oron and the Vice Chairman of the Senatorial district, Mfon Nkantion; you have to ask chapter chairmen, Oron Federal Constituency and Eket Federal Constituency. If what he said on radio, you had not heard well. Nkantion said that, since the emergence of Nelson Effiong as senator, he has called the senator repeatedly and he has never picked his call.
“He has sent text messages repeatedly so that both of them can convene a senatorial meeting. Why is Eket senatorial district the only senatorial district that has not had a senatorial briefing since the inception of government, the first being the one held last week?”
Ememobong dismissed the idea that it would be difficult to recall the defected senator, saying: “The process of vacating senatorial seat was seen as cumbersome until the people of Ondo State and some other states decided to take their fates in their hands by declaring the seat of senators who defected vacant through the Supreme Court.
He encouraged the people to try while the party will do its best to ensure that Effiong is recalled. The party said there was nothing serious about Effiong leaving the PDP “but while we are careful to reply every consequential statement made by and on behalf of Nelson Effiong is that any lie not replied in 24 hours assumes the status of truth and that would become the position until debunked, like the one you asked about the agreement. Everyone in Akwa Ibom knows that there is no such agreement; it could not have been there.”