A wave of defection has hit Bayelsa with the Commissioner for Youth Development, Ibarakumo Otobo, defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Also, an aide to Governor Seriake Dickson, Asari Mangeta, defected with the commissioner on Wednesday with their supporters.
Mr Mangeta is the special adviser to the governor on grassroots mobilisation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two political office holders in the administration were received by the executive committee of APC at the party secretariat in Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital.
Speaking on the occasion, the State Chairman of APC, Jothan Amos, noted that the defection of a serving commissioner was an indication that all was not well with the PDP government in the state.
He said APC was poised to take over the state come 2020.
Mr Amos described the sack of 28,000 civil servants in the ongoing public service reforms at a time of economic hardship as regrettable.
“The way the government carried the reforms shows that they lacked ideas and are not capable of managing reforms.
“How can you finish sacking workers and then start holding town hall meetings when the town hall meetings should have been held before reforms,” he said.
A lawmaker, Israel Goli, representing Brass 1 constituency, who received the members on behalf of ex-Governor Timipre Sylva, noted that APC would replicate its performance at the federal level in Bayelsa and transform it.
Mr Goli presented the symbolic broom of APC to the new members and urged them to team up with the leadership of the party to ensure the party’s victory in the 2020 governorship election.
Mr Otobo said he deiced to quit the PDP to work for APC’s victory in the governorship and other elections.
“I have just resigned my appointment in the administration of Gov. Seriake Dickson and I have left PDP for APC.
“I have a winning spirit and do not go where there is failure, joining the APC with my supporters will bring the winning streak to Bayelsa.
“My antecedents are known and our people know that I am a man of convictions. I pledge to work for APC from this moment,” Otobo said.
He urged the people of Bayelsa to rally round APC to enable the party harness the abundant natural resources of the state for its development.
NAN reports that Mr Otobo joined Mr Dickson’s cabinet in April as Commissioner for Youth Development. Before his appointment, he was the Chairman of Bayelsa Volunteers, a special security outfit formed by Bayelsa Government to complement the security agencies.
Mr Mangeta on his part said he left the PDP government because he was denied the right to express his political ideals and add value to the society.
“I am a politician with a passion for service to the people. They know that I am an asset, they lured me with an appointment but after the elections there was no enabling environment for me to perform.
“So, I have resolved to pitch my tent with APC.”