The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Calabar South chapter has held a stakeholders meeting with the aim of repositioning the party after hundreds of members defected with Governor Ben Ayade to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The chapter chairman, Hon. Felix Umo Offiong, who presided over the meeting at the State Secretariat of the party, said the meeting was to identify challenges created by the defections, analyse areas of strengths as well as explore fresh opportunities for the party to move to another height with elections drawing closer.
He described the defectors as “food eaters that were misguided and hoodwinked to leave the party over morsels of dry and brittle bread,” and challenged party faithful to be steadfast in the face of intimidations and threats from the now ruling APC.
According to Offiong, despite the defection, “PDP remains the biggest and largest party in the state”, adding that although some appointees had defected, the PDP is still strong as DNAs of men and people of Cross Rver state continues to be PDP.
“We can’t be tagged opposition party. We are big and large with spread, while they are only just ruling with minority who cares to pick from the crumbs,” he added.
In his remarks, Hon. Bassey Ekefre, advocated the unity of the party, and advised that “people should be identified as PDP members and not ‘Gershom man’, Essien man,’ Ekefre man’ as some party members are being addressed.”
Sir Arthur Javis Archibong, who also spoke, said rewarding system for party faithful should be sustainable and made impactful. He made case for the commonwealth of party member and not private or individual wealth as was being portrayed in some quarters.
“If the commonwealth could be accessible and activated, most of this challenges will be eliminated,” Archibong noted, and commended the Chapter chairman for the invitation.
On his part, Comrade Joe Ben, aka Solution, charge party faithful not to be perturbed by the strings of movement by some individuals, saying “the movement has gone a long way to show that they were not part of us. We should look at it as an opportunity to occupy and get elevated.
Others who also spoke in the stakeholders’ forum included Hon. Orok Orok Iban, Comrade Joseph Effiom aka Bella, Dr Ibok Ekpenyong, Dr Sir John Ekanem, Hon. Bassey Edem, aka Sultan, High Chief Etim Okon, Comrade Francis Etang, aka Massaro, Chief Chrstopher Okokon, Queensley Offiong-Etim Bassey, Hon. Madam Oma, and Hajia Amina Hassan as well as some ward chairmen.