- Dickson’s loyalists clear National Assembly polls
By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, yesterday dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with a horde of his supporters and former lawmakers.
While officially welcoming the former governorship aspirant, at the Government House Yenagoa, Governor Seriake Dickson said with the defection of Alaibe, the end of the APC in the state had finally come.
“PDP has the majority of the good and decent patriotic people. I used to say there are few APC members in Bayelsa that are good and patriotic. Now, you can imagine the few good ones have now left.
“When we come to campaign, we will wait for them to tell us the roads and bridges from Abuja that they have brought to this state, to show us the major appointments.
“And the benefits and patronage that they deceived these good and decent people to go to their party that doesn’t mean well for our people. The APC clearly is being folded up in Bayelsa with all of you leaving,” Dickson said.
He assured Alaibe and others of their full integration to the PDP, stressing that a rally would soon be organised to formally receive them into the PDP.
He added: “I have told the chairman and the political desk working with your team that we will organise a formal reception to receive you because you are a big fish. You cannot come into the PDP and people will not know you have come. So what is happening today is a prelude to your formal reception.
“We were pained when you left at a time we needed you most, but all of that is history. What is important is what is ahead of us and I want to assure you that you are all valued leaders in the party once again.”
Alaibe, in his remarks, described PDP as the party of the Ijaw people, saying that all the political positions he held were facilitated by the PDP which informed his decision to leave the “wilderness” to return to the party to support Dickson in the interest of the state.
“PDP for me as an individual is home. My political life was defined by the PDP. My political public service, work and all the political positions that I have held were facilitated by the PDP and for a lot of us here, it was the PDP. So for us, PDP is home. It is a good-come-back home.
“We want to assure you that at some point in the course of our political life, just like a child will not know the richness of his mother’s soup until he tastes his neighbour’s soup, we have gone out there and we have tasted our neighbour’s soup.
“And we have made comparison and our own soup, the soup you pilot is sweeter. And that’s why we are here.”
Meanwhile, Dickson’s loyalists, including Prof. Steve Azaiki, Pro-Chancellor of the state-owned Niger Delta University, Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Konbowei Benson and Maria Ebikake, a former commissioner, were among candidates who emerged yesterday in the House of Representatives primaries.
While Azaiki will attempt to represent Yenagoa/ Kolokuma/Opokuma federal constituency, Ebikake will represent the Nembe/Brass constituency under the PDP.
In Ogbia federal constituency, Fred Obua of the PDP will slug it out with Samuel Ogbuku, who clinched the All Progressives Congress APC ticket, while Fred Agbedi (PDP) won in Sagbama/Ekeremor federal constituency.
Also former commissioner for Works, Lawrence Ewrudjakpor won the senate candidacy of the PDP for Bayelsa West, Douye Diri won in Bayelsa Central while erstwhile Commissioner for Science and Technology, Ipigansi Izagara emerged in Bayelsa East.
Meanwhile, Mr. Famous Daunemigha, a former governorship aspirant has emerged in the Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal constituency under the APC.
Speaking on his emergence, the former Vice President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Daunemigha, said the APC had demonstrated that it has what it takes to conduct a free and fair primary
He assured that the party will win the next set of elections, given the antecedents of all the candidates.
“You are very abreast with my records as a consistent activist for my people and I have politically served enough to be given a chance. Even my opponents know this fact.
“I am of the school of thought that the elders had never stopped the youths from occupying any leadership positions, but it’s our youth that sold their place for the spur of the moment
“My message is clear: let’s vote the right people that their constituents can access anytime so that we can develop our state,” he said.