Bishop Ekpe James, (left) in a handshake with the chapter chairman of the PDP, Ibesikpo Asutan LGA,Pastor Uwem Etim, during his official welcome back to the PDP by stakeholders, officers and members of the party. (Credit: Abasifreke Effiong.)

By Abasifreke Effiong

A former chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan local government area, Bishop Ekpe James, has returned to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom State.

Bishop James left the PDP in 2015.

Led by his ward chairman, Mr. Nyakno Ekong, the councillor representing Ibesikpo ward 2, Mrs. Patience Victor Bassey, Bishop James got a rousing welcome back to the PDP on Saturday 2nd April at the Ibesikpo Asutan chapter secretariat of the party, Nung Udoe.

Bishop James and scores of his supporters across Uyo senatorial district were received by a cross section of stakeholders of the PDP in the area among them were the member representing Ibesikpo Asutan in the House of Assembly, Elder Aniekan Uko, former House member, Mr. Eyakeno Etukudoh, former National Assembly member, Obongemem Emman Obot, vice chairman Ibesikpo Asutan local government council, state officer of the party, chapter and ward exco of the party among others.

The former chairman had earlier in the week rejoined the party in his ward, Ibesikpo ward 2.

Before his official reception, Bishop James was received on a courtesy visit by the political leader of Ibesikpo Asutan, Prince Uwem Ita Etuk; the member representing Ibesikpo Asutan state constituency, Elder Aniekan Uko; the chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan local government area, Mrs. Akon Michael.

The chapter chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan, Pastor Uwem Etim, thanked Bishop Ekpe James, for heeding his pleas to return to the party, saying that as chapter chairman of the party and local government chairman, Bishop James left legacies that have remained unmatched.

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“Bishop Ekpe James is a good man. I thank him and the people who have returned to the party for heeding our appeals. The party will accommodate you and will benefit from your experience as a former chapter chairman of the party”, Etim said.

Speaking, Bishop Ekpe James said he is returning to join hands with all stakeholders of party to work for the success of the party and the overall good of Ibesikpo Asutan people.

“I am returning to the party at the appointed time. For the past one year plus, the chapter chairman and officers have been pressurising me to come back, but it was not the appointed time. I am coming back at the appointed time.

“I’m coming to use my experience to work with all stakeholders of the party. I have returned as your anchor. I’m coming back for prosperity of this local government. I will serve diligently and eloquently in the party”, he said.

He announced that he is returning to the PDP with the coordinators of his 2015 and 2019 senatorial ambition.

Bishop James thanked stakeholders and officers of the party for the warm reception accorded him and his teeming supporters and sued for unity and oneness in the party.

In a goodwill message at the reception, member representing Ibesikpo Asutan, Elder Aniekan Uko, said Bishop James did well for the PDP and his “goodwill has spoken for you”.

Also speaking, Obongemem Emman Obot, said the overwhelming celebration of the return of Bishop Ekpe James has shown that he made great impact in the party.