Members of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), the State Working Committee (SWC) and the state Governor, Chief Seriake Dickson, received the defected APC members at a ceremony attended by crowd of PDP faithful at the Peace Park, Yenagoa.
Senator John Brambaifa and Chief Alex Ekiotenne, two prominent leaders and former supporters of an APC stalwart and erstwhile Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, led the aggrieved APC members to the PDP.
They defied the rain to pledge their loyalty to the PDP and the re-election bid of Dickson.
The defectors, who said they were the authentic delegates of the APC in the concluded governorship primary of the state, noted that they took the action in protest of the outcome of the primary.
In his address, the Chairman of the Forum of Authentic APC Delegates (FAAD), Mr. Amos Soko, said the August 22 primary election of APC, which was supposed to be peaceful, free, fair and credible was turned into a blood bath.
He said Alaibe, who was a leading aspirant in the race, was asked to step down for an “anointed candidate” by the powers from above, in a rescheduled internal election, following nullification of the first exercise.
“It was a sad and sorrowful day for the over 1000 authentic delegates, who had signed up to pick Alaibe as the candidate of the APC. Since then, it has been mourning all the way as if the creator of Bayelsa died that day. Following this unacceptable travesty of internal democracy and in view of the fact that the so-called winners see every other person as conquered people, we have decided to support Dickson in the general election”, he said.
In his remarks, Ekiotenne said, following the defections, the APC was dead in the state and would be buried on December 5th.
He vowed to deliver 90 per cent of voters in Ekeremor, his local government area to PDP.
Speaking at the event, the PDP’s National Vice-Chairman, South-South, Mr. Cairo Ojugbo, welcomed the detectors and said the party would restore them to their former positions.
He said the entire structures of the PDP in the country were in support of Dickson and would help him to defeat the APC at the election.
Ojugbo urged the current leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and credible elections in the country.
Welcoming the defectors, Dickson described Ekiotenne and Brambaifa as great and patriotic leaders.
He said their return to PDP had consoled him, following the emptiness he felt at the death of a former Governor of the state, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, whom he saidwas harrased and killed.
“We have launched operation wind up APC in Bayelsa. This is just the beginning of the winding up exercise. We will continue to receive our brothers and sisters, who were misled”.