Over 100 members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Bayelsa state yesterday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ahead of the 2015 governorship elections.
The defectors, mainly supporters of the former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and APC governorship aspirant, Chief Timi Alaibe, under the aegis of Forum of Authentic APC Delegates embraced the umbrella party at the Peace Park in the state capital, Yenagoa.
The defectors, who were led by Senator John Brambaifa and Chief Alex Ekiotene, defied the heavy downpour as they thronged the venue of the event, to show their solidarity and support, describing the APC as a party of impostors.
It would be recalled that Senator Brambaifa and Ekoitenne were among the arrow heads of the recent mass defection of PDP heavy weights to the APC at the Sampson Siasia Sports Complex inYenagoa.
In an address presented by the Chairman of Forum, Amos Iduotu Soko, the defectors said the choice of Sylva as the governorship candidate of APC could be best described as the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Describing APC primaries which led to the emergence of Sylva as a charade, he said “what was supposed to be a peaceful, credible, free and fair party primary was turned into a blood bath.
“Following the unacceptable travesty of internal democracy and in view of the fact that the so called winner sees every other person as conquered people, the Forum of Authentic APC delegates have decided to support Governor Dickson in the next election.”
In his address, Senator John Brambaifa, said this is home coming of where everybody will be proud, noting that there is no doubt that victory will be achieved at governorship poll.
‘I have come here to endorse Governor Seriake Dickson as the governor of the Bayelsa state come 2016. I stand here to say without any doubt that I Senator J.K. Brambaifa supports that decision.’
Receiving the returnees, the national vice-chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, South-South, Dr. Cairo Ojugho directed that they should be re-admitted and revert to their former positions, adding that this must be backed up with necessary documentation.
Describing the PDP as the only party with democratic values, Dr. Ojugho said the party is not ready to concede defeat to any party as the South-south remains the home base of the PDP.
Calling on the Judiciary and Independent National Electoral Commission to always be fair in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities, he said that it was on record that the two bodies performed creditably well under the PDP leadership at the national level.
Elated with joy, the state governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, who also defied the downpour by dancing round the venue, said the action of the former APC members has sounded the death knell of the party in the State, adding that some of them were key leaders who led the mass movement to the opposition party.
Acknowledging the contributions of the returnees while they were in the PDP, Governor Dickson said their coming back would fill the vacuum created by the demise of the first civilian governor of the state, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha.
He said the returnees were not just delegates but were officers of the APC in their various wards and local government areas, stating that the party failed to comply with the rules and guidelines of the INEC by conducting ward delegates’ election.