Another federal lawmaker defects to APC

Emmanuel Ukoette

Emmanuel Ukoette, a member of the Federal House of Representatives, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Ukoette, who represents Oruk Anam/Ukanafun Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State, won election to the House under the platform of the PDP.

The federal lawmaker announced his defection, Monday, in a letter he wrote to Gideon Samani, the Senior Special Assistant on Political Matters to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said in the letter that he was leaving the party because of “the rudderless nature of the (party) leadership”.

The PDP has been thrown into a protracted leadership crisis after the party lost the 2015 presidential election to the APC. The party has two separate factions laying claim to the position of its national chairman.

A factional leader of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff, last week secured a victory at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, which declared him the authentic chairman.

Ahmed Makarfi and his faction have rejected the judgment and have indicated their intention to head to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Ukoette’s defection is coming 32 days after a PDP senator, Nelson Effiong, also from the state, defected to the APC on January 19.

Mr. Effiong had hinted that more senators would be leaving the PDP.

Mr. Ukoette told PREMIUM TIMES that besides the “animosity” within the PDP, there was so much uncertainty about the future of the party.

He also said that he and his federal constituency have been marginalized in the state.

“The sharing formula of the dividends of democracy in the PDP has been faulty, and I have made persistent complaints about this without redress.

“I feel that to key my people into the mainstream of national development, my movement to the APC is inevitable.

“I am also seeing a situation whereby I will team up with other progressives to salvage Akwa Ibom from the grip of a certain few hawks who have formed an oligarchy in order to enslave and perpetually keep Akwa Ibom in a state of ruin,” he said.

The lawmaker said it was erroneous to think that the PDP is in control of Akwa Ibom State.

“I want to tell you that come 2019, the APC shall win Akwa Ibom. I want it to be on record that I said it,” he said.

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