Two days after his resignation as Special Assistant to Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel on Electoral Matters, Barr. Chris Okorie on Friday yielded to the call by his supporters and associates to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
At an emergency meeting, attended by hundreds of his supporters and associates, he convened to brief them on his resignation and to chart the way forward at his residence in Abak, Okorie was mandated to move to the APC by speaker after speaker who all condemned impunity in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Among his supporters who made the call were Messsrs Augustine Edem, the International Coordinator of Chris Okorie Vanguard (COVAN), Uduak Uko, the Etim Ekpo chapter coordinator of ONE Frontiers, Edidiong Idio, Saviour Udoma, Nsikak Ekpo, Ubong Ido, Ita Solomon and Abasiama Timothy.
Responding, Okorie, a former Etim Ekpo local government chairman, thanked his supporters for their loyalty to him over the years and called for more steadfastness in the journey ahead.
He promised them that he would carry out their mandate by opening discussions with the APC with a view of joining as a group.
Also speaking, a former Member of the State House of Assembly for Etim Ekpo/Ika Constituency, Engr. Akanimo Edet (Commander) commended Okorie for the bold decision to quit Udom’s government and assured him and his supporters of equal rights as old members in the APC in line with the constitution of APC of which he has been a member since November 11, 2014.
He urged Etim Ekpo people to support the zoning of the APC governorship ticket to Eket Senatorial District which he said was done in the interest of the state.
Surveyor Mfoniso Essien, a former Special Assistant on Project Monitoring to former Governor Godswill Akpabio who was also the General Manager of the State Road Maintenance Agency, commended Okorie for taking what he called a courageous decision.
He described the meeting as a gathering of unit commanders and declared that the APC was set to sweep the 2019 elections in Etim Ekpo because the era of election rigging in the area was over.
A founding APC leader in Etim Ekpo, Engr. Uduak Okpo, said the party was reinvigorated with the influx of strong PDP members.
“2019 belongs to us in APC in Etim Ekpo,” he declared.
The meeting was also attended by Okorie’s friends from outside Etim Ekpo including Princess Victoria Mel Udoh, a former PDP State Woman Leader and Barr. Martin Umanah, a former Chairman of Essien Udim local government.
Okorie, a former University of Uyo law lecturer and strong grassroots mobilizer who was one of Governor Udom’s principal witnesses at the Election Petitions Tribunal, resigned on Wednesday, a move that threw the PDP in the state into shock, confusion and panic.
“Twenty (20) months down the road Your Excellency, I am yet to be assigned duties commensurate with my status and pedigree, nor provided with the basic work tools, not even an office space. Worse still, there is no hope that this situation will improve in the nearest future,” he told the Governor in a stinging resignation letter.