While Governor Udom Emmanuel was marking his Sixth Anniversary on Saturday, May 29, 2021, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has received an Iroko defector from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The last to jump ship is Chief Paulo Akaiso whose political debut shook the state as early as 1991, through a keenly contested election for Oron Federal Constituency against the late indomitable Okon Bassey Etienam aka NAMOBA.
Recall that Oro Nation firmament was thick with a strong wave of political movement when Chief Paulo Akaiso stood on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) against Okon Etienam of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
Paulo whose political mentor, Babagana Kingkibe, would later become the running mate to Chief M K O Abiola, the presidential candidate of the SDP during the 1993 presidential poll, had joined the PDP from inception with a large array of followership and had since been making treamendous contributions for the growth of the party.
Speaking during a private defection ceremony in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom caretaker chairman of the APC, Dr Ita Udosen stated that Paulo’s arrival was a powerful addition to the party.
“Today is a very special day, May 29, 2021. We have a very powerful addition from Oro Nation to the APC family in Akwa Ibom State. That is in the person of Chief Paulo Akaiso from Urue Offong Oruko LGA, Ward 6, Unit 4”, he said.
Welcoming Paulo Akaiso to what he described as “the largest political party in Africa”, Dr Udosen assured him of his place as a senior elder of the party in the state.
He charged Chief Akaiso to use the broom to sweep away the debris littered around the state by his former party so the APC can be victorious in 2023.
Udosen stated, “By handing over this broom to you, I charge you to join forces with us and other leaders of the party in Oro Nation to sweep away the debris that the PDP has left littering on all parts of the State. We are sure that you’d do your best so we can take over the state in 2023.”
Speaking earlier at the gathering, Chief Paulo Akaiso stated that his exit window from the PDP was long overdue.
He explained that it was sad how leaders of the PDP were experts in deception, cheating others, without a listening ear, irrespective of people’s contributions to the growth of the system, a situation he said had no room for ‘contributory dividends’.
Pointing out that his membership of the APC will afford him the closeness with one of his political mentors, his leader, friend and confidant and former MD of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Sir Bassey Dan Abia, Paulo pledged to serve the party with passion.
In attendance at the meeting hosted by Sir (Barr) Bassey Dan Abia, were the former State Chairman of PDP and now APC chieftain, Arc Otu Ita Toyo; former APC Chairman and deputy governorship candidate, Dr Amadu Attai; and the Federal Commissioner of National Population Commission, Engr. Benedict Ukpong.
Others were Dr. Efretuei Kpahabia, Captain Effiong Eyo, Samual Otuodung and Ntanta S. K. Okpo.