Former Managing Director òf the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr. Timi Alaibe, two-time Commissioner for Information and top ally of former Governor Timipre Sylva, Chief Nathan Egba, and other top political figures of the APC formally led their supporters into the PDP.
Alaibe, Nathan Egba, a Political Force in the densely populated Southern Ijaw Local Government, Chief Rufus Abadi, and Former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Gideon Ekeowei, led thousands of APC members from all the local government areas across to the state to the PDP in a colorful ceremony in Yenagoa on Monday.
The defected top APC leaders were received by the State Governor, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, the South South Zonal Chairman òf the Party, Chief Emmanuel Ogidi, the Chairman òf the PDP in the state, Chief Moses Cleopas and other top political figures in the state.
In his remarks, Governor Dickson said that Alaibe and the other top APC Chieftains were the politicians who gave him the tough fight in the hotly contested gubernatorial election of 2015.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as having stated that the defection has left the APC with no capacity to call a successful rally in the build up to the general elections in Bayelsa.
He said that with the defection of the large number of APC Chieftains to the ruling PDP in the state, the APC had become a ghost party, incapable of winning elections in Bayelsa.
Dickson said that with the exodus of highly placed politicians of influence from the APC to the PDP, there would be no election in Bayelsa.
The Governor charged the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Moses Cleopas, to perfect the process of mopping all good Bayelsans from the APC which he described as a party of criminals in the state.
He charged all the remaining members of the APC to move into the PDP to play the expected leadership role in the development of Bayelsa and indeed the Ijaw nation.
He said, “We have enough room for everybody, for all those who want to join our party. This is the fifth rally the party has put together in the state. I am especially happy to be here in the spirit of reconciliation, a new Bayelsa and service to our people, rather than self aggrandizement.
“From today, you have been automatically restored to your leadership positions, the positions you occupied before you left. I charge you all to return to base to play the leadership role that you all can and will play.
“Let me make it clear that firstly the PDP you are coming back to is unlike the party you left, it is a party of order, conscientious building, law and order and mutual respect.
“We are in opposition and a party in opposition cannot conduct itself in a divisive way. We need all of you to work as supporters and advisers. I take you as members of my advisory team, you are no longer adversaries. Drop the adversarial toga. It belongs to the other party.
I call on you all to mobilize support to deliver our candidates, work hard, nobilize our people for electoral victory.
“You are all decent, experienced, leaders of our people. In this game, we disagree, but we do so with respect for each other. We can now win all battles with ease. I pity the other side. The Chairman has done eighty percent of my charge to wind up the APC. It has become a criminal outfit masquerading as a party.
“The Chairman and the political desk should go and fish out the few people left in the APC, that they are deceiving. Tell them not to be deceived. We shall receive them. The other party that is a criminal outfit.
“These are the people who confronted me, not the other people. If we defeated them, how much more now that these people are here. There shall be no election in Bayelsa.” He said
The Governor called on leaders of the PDP in thebstate to suspend politicking and focus on the mission to deliver all candidates of the party in the general elections.
“My request to all our leaders is that for now, there should be no other politicking. We should focus on winning all the house of assembly, the National Assembly seats and deliver ver the candidate of our party. When we finish, we consult. Let God give us a new leader.” He added
Speaking also, the former Managing Director òf the NDDC, Timi Alaibe said that he had been to the APC and had seen the difference between both parties.
He described the PDP as a party of Ijaw people with interest in matters affecting the welfare of the people of the Niger Delta.
The former NDDC boss admitted that he and other defectors made a costly mistake by leaving the PDP which has always promoted the interests of the Ijaw nation.
He said, “You can see the party in Bayelsa, and the quality of leadership provided by the governor. I am here because the PDP is the place to be.
“The PDP is an Ijaw party. It takes on issues of restructuring. It communicates on the issues that affect the Niger Delta. That is why we are all “Atikulated.”
Speaking also, the National Vice Chairman òf the PDP, South South, Chief Emmanuel Ogidi, urged party members to equip themselves with their permanent voters as the general elections draw nearer,
“We have a war in our hands, those who don’t have PVC should try and get them. February is not far. We need to deliver our candidate, our national and state assembly members.” He said
Former Secretary to State Government, Elder Gideon Ekeuwei, Former Commissioner for Information, Nathan Egba-Ologo, former state PDP chairman, Chief Rufus Abadi also expressed remorse and pledged loyalty to the PDP.
In his welcome address, the state chairman of the PDP, Mr. Cleopas Moses, described Governor Dickson as a political leader with a large heart that has worked hard to stabilize the party both at the state and national levels and urged other politicians to emulate him.