•We wish him well, says Bayelsa govt.
Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
In a move that shocked many people yesterday, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr. Ibarakumo Otobo, resigned his recent appointment.
He immediately moved to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Secretariat in Yenagoa, where he was officially received by the leadership of the opposition party in the state and handed a broom, the party’s symbol.
The 33-year-old commissioner and the youngest in the Governor Seriaki Dickson’s administration had pledged loyalty to the government and promised to work for youth development in the state when he was sworn in a few months ago.
Otobo, a former Special Adviser also in the current state government, did not give any reason for defecting, but told a group of supporters who had thronged the APC Secretariat that he had every right to move to any party of his choice.
“I was one-time this and that, but today, I have just resigned my appointment in this government. I have a right as a patriotic citizen of this country to choose my political party.
“You all know if l stand for something, I am not afraid of anybody or anything. I am now for APC, goodbye to PDP. I don’t go anywhere there is failure,” he said.
The defector who was also the Chairman of Bayelsa Volunteers, a local security outfit which coordinates several other groups in the state, expressed confidence that the APC will take over the state government in 2019.
Also received by Mr. Israel Sunny-Goli, the only APC lawmaker in the state, who represented Chief Timipre Sylva, leader of the party in the state and former governor of the state, was Asari Mangite (Nembe), a former Director at the state-owned Centre for Youth Development.
On why he left the current administration, Mangite said: “When somebody gives you an appointment, you know where you are working, what to do and how to carry your people along. If there’s nothing, you are just ordinary. When there’s election that is when they will give you appointment.”
APC Chairman in the state, Amos Jothan, who welcomed the defectors, said the party would end poverty in the state if voted to power in 2019.
But in its reaction, the Bayelsa State Government, through the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the commissioner’s exit would not slow down the speed of development in the state.
“We wish him well, and it is important to state that his exit from our government has not in any way dampened our faith, resolve and commitment to continue to support our youths and position them to take over the leadership of the state,” he said.