Calabar, Jan. 7, 2023
A former Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River, Mrs. Hellen Boco, has defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Boco, who deputised Usani Usani, a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs in the 2019 general elections, disclosed this at an interactive session with newsmen in Calabar on Saturday.
She hinged her defection to non-inclusiveness in the party’s affairs, even as a legacy member of the party in the state.
Boco noted that with her defection, she, alongside her supporters, had liberated themselves from the cabal that had conducted the affairs of the party as their private business.
She said, “I was a foundational and legacy member of the APC right from 2014. We joined others to build APC across the 18 local government areas of the state steadfastly and with dedication with our small resources.
“There is no joy in the APC, people at the grassroots are not smiling, the legacy members are not happy, those of us that built the APC are nowhere.
“We are not appreciated or recognised. They want to retire us.
“We have been deceived, mortgaged, there is so much deceit and there is no truth in anything that has to do with the APC.
“This are not the principles with which we built the APC. So many foundation members are not appreciated, the voice of the voiceless at the grassroots has been ignored.
“So, I am here to let the world and Nigeria know that I am not a member of APC anymore. I have resigned, and I am now a member of PDP in Ward 9 and I am happy to be a member of a new political party.”
Boco posited that her defection would enable her and her supporters to canvass support for the PDP Presidential and Governorship candidates in Cross River.
She said that the state government has ignored people at the grassroots, and described appointments by the administration as “rubbish,”.
Boco alleged that the state governor and his party had not done well and that power must change hands, saying, “we don’t have to pretend about it.
“How many of us are happy with the present situation we are faced with, how much do you buy fuel today, power must change hands,” she submitted.
Meanwhile, the State chapter of the APC in its reaction to the development wished Boco well in her new party.
The party, however, denied that she was forced out of the party due to ill-treatment.
Mr. Erasmus Ekpang, the State Publicity Secretary of the APC while reacting to Boco’s defection, alleged that she had been fighting the party since she lost out in the contest to be the national woman leader of the party.
“There was no ill-treatment meted out to her but rather, she has been the one fighting the party since she lost out to Ebetta Edu as the national woman leader of the APC, Ekpang said.