The 55-year-old former governor of Akwa Ibom formally defected from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC) at a mega rally held at the Ikot Ekpene township stadium.
He told the huge crowd that he decided to join APC because he discovered that President Muhammadu Buhari “is a man of integrity and a nationalist’’.
Akpabio said that he decided to join a party that would sweep away poverty and impunity.
He said that he joined APC to help salvage the country.
“The country is at war and all the hands must be on deck to salvage the situation and not to aggravate it.
“As keepers of national emergency, everyone should put heads together. I decided to join to emancipate the people and provide succour for the people.’’
He said that the PDP of today has no vision and the leadership is replete with arrogance.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, said that change had come to Akwa Ibom and the South South.
He said that Akwa Ibom has joined the progressive states because the people were dissatisfied with the long misrule of the PDP.
He said that Akpabio built the people and provided them with infrastructure but the present PDP government was a failure.
Ekere said that the people have agreed to re-elect President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
But reacting to the defection of Akpabio, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus said that it is unfortunate that Akpabio chose to walk against the tide to endanger his fine political career.
Prince Secondus said that he finds it very strange that anybody would go into a sinking ship at a time every other person is finding their way out of it.
A statement from the National Chairman’s media office signed by the media adviser, Ike Abonyi said that whatever caused Akpabio’s action must have been for self preservation and not borne out of any rational strategic political decision.
The National Chairman said that Akpabio’s decision does not enjoy the blessing of the people of Akwa Ibom whose mandate he enjoyed for eight years as state governor and nearly four years now as a senator.
” I cannot fathom any reason why on earth Senator Akpabio should work against the tide, moving at opposite direction to a place every reasonable persons are escaping from.
“He deserves our pity because whatever would make somebody to chose bad for good is clearly one that he should be prayed for for salvation especially given the fact that wolves are waiting for his arrival to devour him.
“How on earth can anybody who has his eyes wide open be seen walking into danger knowingly.
Prince Secondus lashed out at the ruling APC, for arm twisting and intimidating people into their drowning boat ostensibly to ruin and disintegrate the person involved.
He called on the people of Akwa Ibom to be wise and know when to turn their back on a leader directing them to danger.
” I urge you to remain focused and continue to give support to your hard working governor His Excellency Emmanuel Udom as he remains unrelenting in the delivering of democracy dividends to the people.
The National Chairman said that Nigerians have long turned their back on the APC after it became manifest that it has nothing good to offer.
He said that the mission to save our democracy and rescue our country is already on track and no amount of coercion and threat will change what God has already endorsed.
Prince Secondus stressed that the PDP rescue train has since left the station and picking democrats along for the 2019 final destination and urged remaining democrats still in APC to make haste and join the winning team in a rebranded and repositioned political platform.