Two former House of Representatives members, Bassey Etim and Esio Okwong, of the Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday defected to the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State.
The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, received the duo along with more than 2,000 of their followers on Saturday during the inauguration of the state secretariat of the party in Akwa Ibom State.
Etim and Okwong represented Uyo and Oron Federal Constituencies at the National Assembly between 2003 and 2007.
Oshiomhole was represented at the occasion by the National Vice Chairman, South South of the party, Hillary Eta.
Welcoming the defectors, the national chairman assured them that they would be given all rights and privileges as accrued to all members.
He urged them to join the old members of the party and work to ensure that APC was victorious in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
Oshiomhole said: “You are all welcome to our great party.
“You will enjoy all rights and privileges as members of this party.
“You are expected to use your wealth of experience to ensure the success of All Progressives Congress come 2019.”
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Etim, who contested for Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial seat on the platform of the PDP in 2015 general elections, said he was happy to join the party of progressives.
Etim said they would work hard to enthrone APC in the state and ensure the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
He said: “I am very happy to join the party of progressives today.
“We have over 2,000 of our members who are coming with us to join the progressives.
“They were all members of the PDP in the state.
“We will ensure that the party will not only win, but they will sweep the state come 2019.”
Earlier, former Senator James Akpanudoedeghe had moved a motion seconded by Nsima Ekere, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission, that the secretariat along Ikot Ekpene Road be inaugurated and used as the state party secretariat.
Speaking before moving the motion, Ekere said the secretariat was significant, recalling that in 1998 the same secretariat was used by patriotic Akwa Ibom State indigenes to install the government in May 1999.
According to him, the same feat will be replicated in the upcoming general elections.
He urged all Akwa Ibom patriotic indigenes to join hands with the APC and strategise to win the 2019 general elections.