By Jonathan Ugbal
The Chairman of the Labour Party in Cross River, Austin Ibok has slammed what he calls the despicable and shameful manner at which members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are defecting to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Richard Romanus in Calabar and made available to CrossRiverWatch, Austin who was recently appointed Special Assistant on Inter Party Affairs by Ayade, a PDP Governor, wondered if most of the defectors would have considered joining the APC if the 2015 presidential election was won by the PDP or whether they will remain in APC if their future political ambitions are not realized or the appointment they hope to get from the center is not given to them.
He lampooned the APC for their manner of celebration and welcoming of the new entrants most of whom are from PDP into their fold “considering the fact that they are the same people they have called all kinds of unprintable names before and after elections.”
Ibok warned that, in terms of appointments and empowerment, the APC will first prioritize the interest of their original members who kept faith in the party in the midst of nothing.
Furthermore, he described the defectors as “fair weather politicians whose stock in trade is what they can get out of a party rather than what they can do to make the party more formidable.”
Urging the leadership of the APC to be very careful with the defectors as those of them joining today will dump the party if they eventually lose power in future.
He said “most of the defectors especially those from Cross River state are the same people who have milked the state dry in the past 16 years in the various positions of responsibility they attained. What they are merely looking for is another opportunity and platform to continue to unleash their wicked tendencies as the defectors seem to have forgotten in a hurry how their new found party rose to power (through) sheer hard work, perseverance, patience and commitment.”
These traits, according to him that gave APC its victory are features he said were completely lacking in the new entrants.
The Labor Chairman also used the opportunity to remind those picking holes in his appointment that it is as a result of the desire of the governor to run an all inclusive government where members of the opposition can also play a prominent role.
The statement further disclosed that Ibok’s appointment “has not and will not in any way strip the party of its position as the most credible alternative platform.” Noting also that “the role of the opposition is to offer constructive criticism on government programs and projects when it is anti people, offer solutions as well as commend them when they do right.”, a role he hoped the Labour Party will continue to play.
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