A former Minister of Lands and Housing, Chief Nduese Essien has admitted that the recent defection of Senator Godswill Akpbabio from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC reduced the strength of the PDP.
He, however, said the former governor’s action will not affect the victory of the state governor and the PDP in 2019, adding that Akpabio only left with few supporters.
The former Minister told Vanguard that the former governor and Senate Minority Leader erred in his defection to the APC.
Essien, who is the political leader of the Eket Senatorial District said, “What I can say is that the incumbent governor is sure to win election because Akwa Ibom has always been a PDP state for 19 years now.
“The exit of the former governor of the party has only altered the strength of the party in the state minimally because at the time he left the party, his influence and popularity had waned.
“In the past 18 months people in the state had become disenchanted with his leadership role in the Senate. He was no longer the vocal politician that we knew. He was not playing a pivotal role as senate minority leader.
“People would become doubtful of the strength of his character as a leader, that is why most of his supporters could not go with him to his new political abode.
“His entry into his new abode is going to destabilize the place, because he is going to meet the very people who ran away from him.
“The APC in Akwa Ibom is populated by people who were avoiding him and so his going to join them there is going to be marriage of strange bedfellows.
“A lot of them have indicated individual intention to abandon the party for him and return to the PDP.”