Defects with over 200 supporters to PDP
Senator Aneitie Okon, Akan Okon, others describe move as wise
By Daniel Ekpeynong
The former Chairman of Itu Local Government, Hon. Elder Godwin Ndon, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has returned to PDP along with over 200 of his supporters.
The reception ceremony, which took place on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Government Primary School, Akon Itam, drew a large crowd of PDP supporters from across the State and Ward 4, Itu Local Government, (where the former Council Boss hails from) as well as from the entire Local Government Area.
Addressing the gathering, Hon. Ndon said he left the PDP three years ago because of his curiosity to watch from the position of an insider how President Buhari was going to carry out the much-touted war against corruption as well as the much-talked change. He said, having been in APC for three years and not seeing any “change” as promised, he decided to return to what he called ‘home”.
Hon. Ndon further said that his return to PDP is to join forces to strengthen the party in Itu and not to “fight” anybody as some have speculated, adding that his decision to return to PDP was fueled by the fact that even while he was parading an APC membership card, he was still shown love by his PDP kinsmen including Governor Udom Emmanuel who constructed what he called “a nylon-tarred road” across his village and Ward, a feat that could not be achieved by past administrations in the state. He also mentioned the Governors’ benevolence to his church, the Apostolic Church, as additional reason for his return to join hands with his kith and kins to work for the Governor’s re-election come 2019.
Speaking earlier, the Itu Chapter Chairman of PDP, Hon. Victor Okon thanked Hon. Ndon for being a good politician who knows how to return to his family when the going in a strange land becomes tough, describing PDP as a protective umbrella for all. He commended all the supporters for accepting to return with their master and promised them full integration into the party with equal opportunities and privileges.
In his remarks, Senator Anietie Okon who was visibly excited about the event described it as a ceremony to welcome a brother who traveled to a distant land and has returned safely home, and not a defection as Hon. Godwin Ndon, in his words, “never really left the PDP”. Senator Okon who took a swipe at the ruling APC Federal Government for what he called endemic corruption and abysmal failure in the power sector, said the only hope for Nigeria is PDP. He commended Ndon for his wise decision to return to the PDP fold along with a retinue of his supporters.
Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Akan Okon in his remarks appreciated Hon. Ndon for his “wise decision”, describing him as a good soldier who knows when to advance and when to retreat. He promised to work in close liaison with the former Council Boss whom he called his brother along with his supporters. The Commissioner took time out to eulogize the governor for the things he has done for Itu, especially the road in Ward 4, promising that he and other Itu sons and daughters would work hard to ensure the governor’s re-election. He, therefore, called on all Itu people of voting age to embrace the on-going voters’ registration exercise in order to be eligible to vote when the time comes.
Adding his voice, the state officer of the party Hon. Effiong Ebong described his former boss as a sincere and honest politician who plays politics without cheating and rancor. While thanking him for returning with all his supporters to the PDP, Mr. Ebong, a former Councilor in Itu, pledged continued loyalty to his former boss as they work together to consolidate PDP in Akwa Ibom State by re-electing Governor Udom Emmanuel and other PDP candidates in the 2019 general elections.
Highpoints of the occasion were the formal dropping of the broom which is the symbol of the APC by the defectors and the presentation of the PDP branded umbrella to them by the Ward Chairmen and Itu Chapter Chairman, as well as the presentation of a formal letter of credence to the party by Hon. Godwin Ndon. The defectors were formally received into the party by all stakeholders present.
Dignitaries at the event included Senator Anietie Okon, Commissioner for Special Duties, Housing and Urban Renewal, Mr. Akan Okon, Assistant State Organizing Secretary of PDP, Hon. Effiong Ebong, Former House of Representatives Member, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Obot, Former Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Samuel Efanga, Chapter Chairman, PDP, Itu, Hon. Victor Okon, former Deputy Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly (AKHA), Hon. Grace Edem Inyang, Barr Godwin Awah and a host of other high profile guests including the who-is-who in the politics of Itu Local Government Area.
It would be recalled that Hon. Godwin E. Ndon was elected and sworn-in as Executive Chairman of Itu Local Government Area on June 2, 1999 on the platform of All Peoples Party (APP), a position he used to transform the landscape of Itu Local Government Area.
His handing over notes speaks volumes of his strides, which shows that during his three-year tenure , Ndon left an indelible mark in the annals of the history of Itu Local Government Administration. His achievements in the area of development projects cut across the ten political wards of the Area. These included the construction of an Ultra-Modern Comprehensive Health Centre at Ekit-Itam Akpan Obong, electrification projects in nine villages of Akon Itam, Ekit Itam Akpan Obong, Ikot Anie, Ema Itam, Ikot Andem, Ikot Ukap, Ikot Obio Atai, Atai Ibiaku Itam, Ikot Ekang and Ikot Mbonde.
His other achievements included a Water Extension Project at Mbribit Itam, culvert projects at North Itam, Efi Itam and Ikot Anse; Rehabilitation of OMA Health Centre as well as a T-junction Embankment Project. The Council under his watch also made a substantial donation to Mbiabong Itam in respect of their community electrification project.
Etaha Itam Market which is one of the main revenue generation centres in the Local Government Area was not left out in Hon. Godwin Ndon’s developmental efforts as he awarded a contract for the construction of blocks of both open and lock-up stalls in the market. On employment creation, about 150 indigenes of Itu Local Government were employed into the Service of the Local Government.
In the area of staff welfare, Ndon ensured that salaries and allowances were paid promptly. He also bought many vehicles to increase the number of functional cars in the Council’s fleet. Up until this day, no Local Government Chairman has been able to equal Hon. Godwin Ndon’s record of achievements let alone surpass it.