From Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Young Progressives Party (YPP) candidate for Akwa Ibom North (Uyo) Senatorial District, Mr Usenobong Akpabio has described his defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the best political decision he has ever made.
Speaking with Daily Sun in Uyo on Monday, Akpabio, who is a 2-term former member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, reasoned that he was not the one that left PDP, rather it was the PDP that left him after his many years of loyalty and compromise to let the party reign not only in his Uruan local area and Uyo federal constituency but also in the entire state,
He said twice he had tried in the past to be the PDP candidate for the senatorial district but had to give in to the party’s overall interest and remain to work for the party’s glory despite pressure and overtures from the APC in 2018 to defect.
Akpabio said he was surprised that despite his contributions to the party, the governor, Udom Emmanuel, and the current gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the state, Mr Umo Eno, who he had initially endorsed through the Ibom Patriot platform on which he functions as the secretary-general, did not even bother to look in his direction when going to endorse the current speaker of the state house of assembly as the candidate for the senatorial district.
“Somebody asked me why did you leave PDP; I told them I didn’t leave PDP. I came to the realisation that PDP had left me a long time ago. So I had to take a decision on what to do with my life if I really needed to be in politics. That is why I moved to YPP with the understanding that for you to be a senator, you first of all must be a candidate. You cannot run for an election if you don’t have a party. So I needed that platform.
“I’m happy today that what PDP couldn’t give me, that is being a candidate, some other party has given it to me. And it is today that I have also realised through going round and consulting, that I would have dashed the hope of quite a large number of people.
“At least I have given Uyo senatorial district a variety of choices. There will be so many parties that would come up. Let the people have the opportunity to choose from among so many and since it has to do with votes and not delegates, let’s subject ourselves to the wishes of the people; let them choose who they want. I believe I’m well equipped to represent Uyo senatorial district more than any other person.” He explained.
Akpabio said the days of PDP and APC dominating the political landscape of the country are over with the entrance of the YPP and the Labour Party.
He, however, stressed that the coming election would swing surprises, experience a low number of votes and would substantially experience low rigging against what was obtained in the case in the past.
“People are going to vote for people, not the party unlike in the past where they voted for the party irrespective of the people flying the flag. A lot of emphasis is on persons now. There is this awareness. That is why INEC even extended the date for the collection of PVC.
“If you come down to Akwa Ibom State, people are not also generally happy with the system in the state. They need an alternative. APC and PDP are having issues here and there. Every that is in power is a that is subject to attack because you won’t be able to do what everybody wants.
” I believe that with the calibre of people that are going to break out from PDP, they have already started coming over to YPP, as we speak today, we already have 31 chapter offices and we are going onto the wards, our chances are bright.
“The way they are embracing YPP, it is very very encouraging. We just have to leverage on that and get the people, especially those in the villages.
The fortunes of YPP are increasing in terms of the awareness that is happening, It is a new party. and since people were tired of the old system, I believe that for everybody who wants to play politics, they also need a platform and fresh air, But there is a lot to be done. But fortunately, we have time to do that before the election next year,” Akpabio said.