Ahead of the 2019 general elections, over 6,000 members of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Bayelsa State defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Valentine day, 14 February.
Receiving the decampees during a grand rally in Yenagoa as part of activities marking the 6th anniversary of the restoration government, National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus and Governor Seriake Dickson noted that the PDP is the only party that truly understands politics as a call to service.
A press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Francis Agbo noted that Dickson assured the defectors of a level playing field and restoration of their rights and privileges as the party’s umbrella is big enough to accommodate all.
He, however, emphasized the need to instil discipline and respect for constituted authority, noting that the rules of the game must be obeyed to strengthen internal democracy within the party.
According to Governor Dickson, his administration has in the last 6 years, made appreciable progress in the areas of education, infrastructure, health and peace and security.
His words:”Let me welcome all those who left our party and who are now back to the umbrella. Let me assure you all and the party that I remain a proponent of politics of accommodation and tolerance. Our party will be fair to all concerned, but our party is also one of discipline and respect for constituted authority.
“The young people of this state should not allow themselves to be deceived or misled again. Politics is not about cultism, promoting killings, buying arms for misguided youths or funding or encouraging drug abuse, but politics is about service to our people.”
On his part, National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, lambasted the APC led government for its abysmal performance which has caused caused untold hardship and loss of lives in the country.
Prince Secondus who expressed optimism that the PDP would clinch victory in the 2019 elections, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies to play by the rules.
“I believe that all the 11 PDP Governors are the best we have in the country today and they are good examples of nation-building.”
“The entire nation can see that the PDP is the only party that can rescue this nation from the poverty and hunger that the APC government has afflicted on Nigerians. But our fear is that, will INEC play the game according to the provisions of our constitution?”
In their separate remarks, the State PDP Chairman, Mr. Moses Cleopas and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Chief Fyneman Wilson stressed that the number of APC defectors gives credence to the fact that Bayelsa remains the stronghold of the PDP in the country.”
Some of the decampees with hundreds of their supporters include, former chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Prof. Tarila Tebepah, Hon. Ayiba Duba, Austin Lugbenwei, Gesiye Isowo, Stephen Erebor, Franklin Otele and Chief Ben Eyororokumoh.
Highpoints of the event was the commissioning of the Grand Pavilion and Boat Club by Prince Secondus as well as boat regatta.