By G9ija

Twenty maternal cousins of Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State from his Awa clan in Onna Local Government Area have defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), apologising for what they called the governor’s non-performance.

They joined APC on Friday during the reception of the strongman of Ini politics, Dr. Godwin Udo Udo (Mentor) into APC at Methodist School, Mbiabong Ikot Udofia, Ini Local Government Area.

Two of Emmanuel’s cousins, Kingsley Ufang and Valentine Ufang, had defected to APC last year, advising the governor not to seek re-election to avoid disgrace at the polls because of his unpopularity even in his village, Awa Iman.

Mr. Tony Ekwere, the leader of the latest set of defectors from the governor’s family, flanked by other members of the family, thanked Senator Godswill Akpabio for helping their cousin to become governor, adding, “We are not happy with the situation. We are sad. We stood by you (Senator Akpabio) to deliver our brother, Udom Emmanuel. And we are going to stand by you to deliver Obong Nsima Ekere and President Buhari. Without Godswill Akpabio, nobody would have known Awa Iman as a village and Awa as a clan in Onna. We want Godswill Akpabio to correct the mistake of 2015,” he said.

Obong Nsima Ekere, the APC Governorship candidate, said by admitting and regretting the failure of their cousin, the defectors had demonstrated that they were a family with conscience.

Archbishop Samuel Akpan, a former APC governorship aspirant from Onna who introduced the governor’s cousins at the rally, hailed them for coming to do “a send-off party” for Emmanuel.

Also speaking, Mr. Felix Idiong, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s father-in-law, disclosed that the governor has not allowed his wife, Martha, to affect the lives of her family members in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.

“He has not allowed my daughter the privilege to impact on the lives of her family. We have become so disgusted, so disappointed at why he could behave that way. That is why I followed Godswill Akpabio.

The family of Obong Sampson Udo Idiong, a former President of Ibibio State Union and former Paramount Ruler of Abak, Ukanafun and Oruk Anam, have come to support Senator Godswill Akpabio and Obong Nsima Ekere.”