Over 5000 key actors in All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in what looks like a signal to the 2019 general elections in Bayelsa state.
Among those who defected to the PDP included a returnee former State Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Tarila Tebepa; former Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Engr. Monday Karibo; former Leader of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Stephen Erebo; former member of the House of Assembly,
Hon. Francis Otele and a former key chieftain of the part, Hon. Iro Kominibo.
Others are former Commissioner, Hon Geseye Isowo; a former member of the House of Assembly, Hon. Johnson Alalibo; returnee former chieftain of PDP, Chief Victor Awala; and former House of Assembly member, Hon. Ayiba Duba.
The defectors also include former Majority Leader of Yenagoa Local Government Council, Hon. Leader Stanley; and Chairman of Education Authority Ogbia, Chief Alfred Eto Egesi.
They all led thousands of their supporters to defect to the PDP.
The defection took place during the 6th anniversary celebration of the Restoration Government of Henry Seriake Dickson and Grand Rally, held at the Oxbow Lake Pavillion in Swali, Yenagoa and witnessed by the national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.
Thereafter, the defectors dropped their brooms, the symbol of APC membership and threw them into the ocean, signifying the end of their membership of APC.
Secondus said, “Please drop your brooms. The broom has brought killings, hunger and starvation. Never again will our people witness killing and hunger. I hereby congratulate you and welcome you to our party.
“We just came back from Abia State and the PDP governors are performing. This is the party that can rescue the country from hunger, killing and starvation.“
The PDP chairman warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against rigging and other forms of manipulation and irregularities in the 2019 general elections.
Also speaking, governor Henry Seriake Dickson stated that the 6th anniversary was a display of what the New Bayelsa has come to represent.
He said, “In the new Bayelsa, we receive and welcome everybody. Bayelsa State is the foundation of PDP. In the last election, the APC did everything to take Bayelsa. They now wanted to destroy the soul and spirit of the party because they know that PDP has its soul in Bayelsa. Six years in the saddle, you’re all here celebrating our achievements because you supported us.
“We are also using this Valentine Day (because I am the only Valentine governor) to celebrate. Bayelsa Valentine is a special one.”
According to him, Prince Uche Secondus is the first Ijaw man to be chairman of a major political party in Nigeria, adding “we are with you and will be with you always.”
Dickson said people should not be misled by APC negative propaganda in the media because his administration has performed well.
The governor said, “Bayelsa state has wonderful schools. Welcome to the new Bayelsa. If you (APC leaders) are truly on ground, ask your people what the Federal Government has done for them. Politics is not about cultism, drug abuse, but service to the people. Their only hope is that elections would be manipulated for them by federal might. This time it will be worse for them. Bayelsa said should to support us.”