With the recent defection former governor Akpabio on 8 August to the All Progressives Congress, dumping the Peoples Democratic Party.
Udom, the current Governor, was brought into mainstream politics by his appointment as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in 2013 by Akpabio, but he stayed back in the PDP, with majority of state assembly lawmakers recently pledging their allegiance to him rather than Akpabio.
Akpabio’s defection and Udom’s refusal to follow suit has placed the two on opposite sides of the state’s politics, although Akpabio mainatined after his defection that had no personal problem with the Governor.
The Senate President Bukola Saraki , who is now the national leader of the PDP and who recently also switched from APC to PDP, said he was in the state to show solidarity to Emmanuel.
He assured the governor that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representatives in the National Assembly would continue to support him to provide dividends of democracy to the people.
“We have come here on a solidarity visit to show that we are strongly with you. We are with you because we know you are serving your people well.
“We are with you, because since you have been the governor, you have shown your worth and capacity and more importantly, you have shown your leadership skills.
“It is not easy to lead and rise above board and behave like a leader in spite of provocations; that is how leadership should be.
“You have done a lot of good works here and I do not want you to be distracted.’’
On the Saraki’s entourage were Senators Dino Malaye, Clifford Odia, representing Edo and Sen. Bassey Akpan, the only PDP senator representing Akwa Ibom among others.
Saraki said Emmanuel had nothing to fear since the all the members of the House of Representatives, State Assembly, local government chairmen, councillors and stakeholders are supporting him.
“The people of Akwa Ibom have spoken and they are saying they are behind you. I want that to encourage you to forge ahead and work hard and serve the people. Since your people are with you, fear nobody.
“We, in Abuja, will continue to work and support you. I will come here to congratulate you when your people will give you a second term to serve them. And when I come back, we will come and discuss politics.”
Responding, Emmanuel urged the senate president to continue to work and protect Nigeria.
He urged the senate president to continue to maintain his exemplary character and serve the Nigerian people as the number three citizen.
He urged leaders not only to prepare the young ones for the future but prepare the future for them through good governance.
“This is unprecedented that in time like this, you have come to show solidarity to Akwa Ibom people. We appreciate you and love you the way you protect the project Nigeria.”
The governor used the opportunity to welcome Saraki back to PDP, adding that Akwa Ibom people are solidly behind the party.