Udoma Ekarika, a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the defection of Godswill Akpabio will have a positive impact on the state.
Ekarika, who like Akpabio, served as a commissioner under Victor Attah, a former governor of the state, said he aided the appointment of Akpabio under Attah.
According to Ekarika, Akwa Ibom’s progress as a state had been hindered as a result of Akpabio.
He said with Akpabio out of the ruling party in the state, Akwa Ibom will move forward.
“For Akwa Ibom as a state, it means that the Jonah that was in the boat that made the boat not to move has left the boat and the boat will now move very freely,” he told a crowd at a rally in the state.
“I can also say that somebody who was the cog of the wheel and stopped the development and progress of Akwa Ibom state has voluntarily left the wheel and the wheel will now move freely”.
Speaking on Akpabio’s defection, Ekarika said: “Akpabio gave his reason for defecting saying that he wanted to connect the Akwa Ibom and the South-South to the government in the center? Who is he in the first place? When we talk of South-South who is Akpabio? Where does he come and who does he know in this country? He was making noise.”
Ekarika said while in office, Akpabio did not serve any useful purpose to the people of Akwa Ibom.
He said despite the tag ‘uncommon transformation’ given to Akpabio when he was in charge of Akwa Ibom, the people and the state only continued to get poorer.
He said when Attah,was in office, he utilised the N250 million monthly allocation to pay salaries, cater for the state and conceive signature projects but Akpabio left a debt burden of over 45 billion naira.