By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, former presidential adviser popularly called “Mma Bakassi” has officially dumped the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River.
Ita-Giwa, was formally registered by the APC chairman of her Atai Ema ward Mr Inyang Okon in a ceremony attended by hundreds of her supporters.
Addressing party officials, Ita-Giwa said she joined the party because she needed a credible platform to continue her political life so as contribute to the development of the state and the society.
She went on to state “As long as I remain a member of APC I will continue to work for the country and support President Muhammadu Buhari,” whom, she described as a greatly misunderstood man.
I had looked forward for this day and “I thank God for making today happen. I knew today had to happen. I thank the leadership of APC. In the past one and a half years I have not attended any meeting of any political party”.
According to her “It would be out of place for a woman of my calibre to join a group of people that are fragmented. My position in Nigeria and my age cannot permit me to jump from faction to faction”.
She declares, “There is no retirement age as far as politics is concerned the world over. Nigeria needs experienced politicians like us. As you grow older in politics you learn on the job and get better”.
Ita-Giwa said “I chose the platform of APC to continue my political life. As long as I am in this world, I would not leave politics. APC in Cross River has been too quiet. I fear nobody. If you are political party you have to make your presence felt. Now I am in APC that silence would stop”.
Speaking on the issue of the displaced people of Bakassi, she said, “we are going to revisit the issue of Bakassi in the Hague because it would be illegal and exercise in futility. All we ask is that the displaced people of Bakassi be resettled in Dayspring where they can carry on with their traditional way of life which is fishing”.
She was received by the Bakassi chapter chairmen , Mr Cyril Ene, immediate past Senator of the Southern Senatorial District of the Senator Prince Bassey Otu, and other prominent members of the party.
Meanwhile, some political scientists in Cross River had described her decamping as long overdue.
In an interview they said her dumping the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is a typical characteristic of a Nigerian politician. “When the going is tough they think of where to move in order to become relevant. This is just what Senator Ita-Giwa had done today.
“It is no longer a story. We had long expected this move and we are glad it came to pass,” they said.
In his remarks, Ene Archibong said “We are not afraid of her. She has a right to join any political party of her choice but I hope she will not create crisis as she has joined APC in Bakassi.
He said “We know Mma Bakassi very well. Something must have caused her decamping. I hope it is not unconnected with the alleged N37.5 billion Bakassi money paid to the state by the Federal Government since 2012”.
“The previous administration got these huge sum of money and could do nothing for the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) till date. Senator Ita Giwa was fully involved then. Who knows if the EFCC or the ICPC had raised dust over these huge sum of money and she is looking for where to hide,” he added.
Also speaking, Etim Okokon of PDP, said “She is on her own as far as 2019 is concerned. She has lost her credibility as far as she could not bring resettlement here in Bakassi. We are waiting for her. She must help us account for the alleged N37.5 billion which was meant for the resettlement of the displaced people.
Okokon said “Moreover she has lost her credibility as far as Bakassi politics is concerned. If she likes let her dump PDP 100 times, she cannot win elections in her ward any longer”.
By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar