The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Moses Ekpo, has denied media reports that he has resigned or plans to resign from office.
There have been reports of several officials resigning from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Akwa Ibom state government, following the planned defection of a senator, Godwill Akpabio, from the opposition PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Some officials, like the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, the senator representing Uyo Senatorial District, Bassey Albert, and some legislators have refuted such reports as fake.
Mr Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom, has just resigned his position as the Senate minority leader, thereby paving the way for his defection to the APC.
Mr Akpabio, regarded as one of the most influential politicians in Akwa Ibom and Nigeria’s South-South region, handpicked Udom Emmanuel, and helped him and Mr Ekpo win election as governor and deputy governor respectively in 2015.
The deputy governor is Mr Akpabio’s kinsman.
The deputy governor’s media aide, Ekikere Umoh, issued a statement on Monday dismissing the report of his principal’s resignation as lies.
Mr Umoh said the deputy governor spoke on phone from New York, United States, where he is representing Governor Emmanuel at an international convention of a socio-cultural organisation called the Ati Annang.
“I have not resigned,” the statement quoted Mr Ekpo to have said.
“I have no reason whatsoever to resign or jump ship from a government that is both responsive and performing optimally, while giving practical meaning to democratic dividends for the people of Akwa Ibom.
“I cannot, and will not jump ship,” the deputy governor said.
Mr Ekpo called on the Akwa Ibom people at home and in the Diaspora to support the PDP and Governor Emmanuel to take the state to the “next level”.
The state government had said earlier on, through the Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh, that the report of Mr Ekpo’s resignation was false.