By Our Reporter
A key figure in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Kennedy Okoi, has formally joined the All Progressives Congress, APC along with fellow party members, ahead of the February 2024 Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency rerun.
Okoi, a significant and influential figure within the PDP in Adim Ward, Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State, leads the shift as numerous loyalists of the PDP and Labour Party, LP defect to the APC, amid a warm reception for him.
The Ward Chairman, Mr Okon Ekpe, along with party leaders from Adim Ward, officially welcomed him on Sunday, 21 Jan. 2024.
In his statement, Okoi, the primary defector, reportedly mentioned that he, along with his loyalists spanning various wards in Biase Local Government Area, have joined the APC. Their collective aim is to actively support the candidacy of Hon. Onun (Dr) Emil Inyang in the upcoming February 3, 2024, rerun election for the Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency.
Okoi praised the lawmaker, commending his noteworthy performance as both Council Chairman and Pro-Chancellor of the state-owned University, University of Cross River State, UNICROSS, describing it as ‘admirable’.
“His achievements in the position over the past eight months serve as an enlightening example for us in the Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency. He actively co-sponsored motions/bills that focused on the welfare of the people and initiated various human capital development projects.
“Adim Ward is politically intelligent, wise and smart based on a paradigm shift to objective and realistic politics, noting APC is Wise, Intelligent, Smart, and Equitable (WISE) politically and that is what has endeared the party to me,” he further opined.
In conclusion, he said the PDP violated the principle of equity and fairness at all levels, APC respected and applied the tenet of fair sharing (zoning), which according to him led to the landslide victory of the party in the 2023 general elections.
He went on to admire the leadership skills of the Governor, Prince Bassey Edet Otu, highlighting his remarkable goodwill and humanity. “This naturally led the governor to prioritise the ‘People First’, showcasing a strong commitment to enhancing the standard of living for the populace,” he added.
On his part, Ekpe, the APC Chairman of Adim Ward, expressed appreciation for the defectors and commended Okoi for his decision. He conveyed his happiness for Okoi joining the party, describing his arrival as “timely and highly consequential.”
“You will receive the same privileges and rights as the longstanding members; equality in treatment is assured,” he affirmed.
In individual messages of goodwill, the Adim Ward APC leaders praised the defectors for choosing to leave the PDP, along with other crucial party members, in favour of the APC. They emphasised that Adim Ward is now unequivocally in support of the APC, standing at 100%.
The high point of the event was the presentation of party membership cards by the Ward Chairman ably supervised by the Ward Leader, Hon. Andy Ecko to Mr Kennedy Okoi and other defectors, including CSP Barr Ekpeni Ajah (Retd.), Mr Fegas Ibe, Mr Oyono E. Oyono and Mr John Ikpe, among others.