Bayelsa PDP Moves to Halt Defections, Sets up Reconciliation Panel


Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has constituted a nine-man committee to reconcile aggrieved members of the party after some loyalists, including Mr. Joshua MacIver, a governorship aspirant and younger brother to the State’s Deputy Governor, John Jonah, dumped the party at the weekend.

The reconciliation panel is coming on the heels of the recent primary election where Senator Douye Diri emerged as candidate of the party for the November 16, 2019, governorship election.

The State Chairman of PDP, Mr. Cleopas Moses, said in a statement that the committee would be inaugurated on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, by Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson.

Moses noted that there was need to carry all members of the party along and ensure its unity ahead of the governorship election.

The committee would be chaired by Senator Inatimi Rufus-Spiff, with a former Secretary to the State Government, Gideon Ekeuwei, as secretary.

Other members are Senator Emmanuel Diffa, Chief Bright Erewari-Igbeta, Hon. Darius Obiene, George Okiriyan, Israel Igbori, Hon. Solomon Agwanana and Millionaire Asangba.

In a related development, the party chairman has urged members to remain steadfast and not listen to the propaganda and blackmail being spread by the opposition in the state.

He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) lacks the capacity and a marketable candidate to win the governorship election in the state.

“The APC cannot, and does not have the capacity, to win in Bayelsa State. It does not have a marketable governorship candidate that Bayelsans will accept and support,” he said.

Moses noted that the recent appointments of Bayelsans as Minister of State (Petroleum) and an Executive Director in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), were to entice the people of the state with bogus promises that they cannot keep.

He thanked leaders of the party for their understanding and for remaining resolute as key stakeholders.

Moses added: “In 2015, about this time of the governorship election, over 100 leaders of our party had openly defected. Yet our governor led the party to victory against even a more experienced opponent, Timpre Sylva.

“This time, there has been no massive defection of major stakeholders. So, party members should not be disturbed by rumours of defection. This is the normal tactics of the opposition in the state.

“There are more litigations and crises within the APC than the issues our members are raising. Our party has set up processes to reconcile all of these. When the campaigns start, Bayelsans will have a clear choice to make between our candidate and that of the other party”