Senator Godswill Akpabio of the Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom State, has resigned his position as the Senate Minority Leader.
He announced his resignation via his Twitter handle in a letter he sent to the Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha.
He said his resignation came into effect on August 4.
His tweet was carried on his verified Twitter handle, @SenatorAkpabio, on Tuesday.
The tweet read: “Let me thank the Senate minority leadership, our distinguished colleagues and our great party, the PDP for the opportunity to lead the caucus in the last three years.
“Please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”
Akpabio had on Sunday met with President Muhammadu Buhari in London. He followed the meeting up with another in Abuja where he met with the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, for further consultations over his planned defection.
Responding to this development, an Akwa Ibom chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Sylvester Akaiso, said the people of Akwa Ibom State were relieved with news of Akpabio’s planned defection to the APC.
He explained that members of the APC of Oron ethnic nationality had also declared their intention to leave the party the moment Akpabio joined.
He said, “Majority of the people have resolved that they will not follow him to the APC because they noted that his move to the APC was purely for personal reasons.
“We in Oron ethnic nationality feel liberated in the PDP. The era of sabotaging the status deserved by Oron, especially by those in the four local government areas of Oron, Okobo, Urue Offong Oruko and Udung Uko from being recognised as core oil-producing areas is also gone forever.
“The feeling in Oron now is that we will swim or sink with Governor Udom Emmanuel, who will receive bloc votes from Oron come 2019.”
Meanwhile, the Oron Reclamation Movement has said only the zoning of the governorship seat to the Oron nation by the APC will bring about true unity, peace and development of Akwa Ibom State as envisaged by its founding fathers.
This was contained in a statement signed by the President of the group, Mr Anietie Isong, in Uyo, on Tuesday.
He expressed regret that Akpabio’s personal interests appeared to be at variance with the overall interest of the Oron people.
He said, “It is saddening that since the creation of the state, Oron ethnic nationality has continued to be marginalised in the scheme of things despite her many sacrifices and contribution to the growth and development of Akwa Ibom.
“No one can deny that the Oron nation alone generates over 60 per cent of oil revenue accruing to Akwa Ibom yet the area has little or nothing to show for it in terms of infrastructural development or political appointment.
“The ongoing defection drama of Senator Akpabio, which seeks to prop-up Nsima Ekere for governorship and the position of Deputy Governor to be zoned to either Uyo or Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, with the Oron nation once more marginalised is one deprivation too many and the Oron nation will never accept it.”