From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) are up in arms over the defection of some members of APC from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The PDP, under a programme tagged ‘Operation Wind down APC in Bayelsa State’, had claimed that it received critical opposition figures from Southern Ijaw.
But the APC had dismissed the claim noting that those the PDP claimed it received are spent forces that are no longer relevant in the politics of the area.
According to the PDP, the opposition delegation led by ex-militant leader, Eris Paul aka Ogunboss compromising of the seasoned ward and community leaders were received by the PDP leadership led by its deputy chairman, Talbort Nengi Tubonah, secretary, Gesiye Isowo, Wisdom Nathan, PDP Vice Chairman, Central Senatorial District, Ikoro Willabor, chairman, PDP, Southern Ijaw, while the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, who incidentally is from Southern Ijaw, Hon Friday Konbowei Benson was in attendance.
Tubonah who stood in for the chairman said the defection can be attributed to the achievements recorded so far by the Governor Douye Diri led administration.
Isowo in his remarks commended the returnees for coming back to the PDP, adding that those that left the party for one reason or the other should come back.
He said the party would not discriminate between old and new members, giving assurance that they are free to contest for any elective office and also work for the success of the party in the 2023 general elections.
Benson in his address expressed delight on the defection, stressing that he knows all the defectors personally and their pedigree.
He also enjoined them to put in their best like before to ensure the success of the party in the general elections.
The defectors taking turns to talk commended Governor Douye Diri for the giant strides and showcasing great leadership in managing the affairs of the state.
However, the chairman of APC in the state, Dr Dennis Otiotio- Odoni while dismissing the defectors, stressed that those that helped the APC to win elections in Southern Ijaw are still in the party.
”The PDP had severally said that there are no more significant politicians in APC, yet they keep on announcing the purported defection of important politicians. It is pertinent to note that Eris Paul aka Ogunboss had defected to PDP since 2020 after the Supreme Court annulled the governorship victory of APC in Bayelsa State. I can assure you that all the politicians that made APC to win Southern Ijaw in the last governorship election are intact. Currently, the PDP is jittery because the current administration has done nothing to justify the people of Bayelsa State giving their vote to PDP and the people of Bayelsa State will during the next election vote out PDP.”