The Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson at the weekend received a former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) , Chief Tiwei Orunimiye and 98 leaders leaders of opposition party in the state, declaring that APC and other opposition parties are dead in the state.
Among those that defected at the Mega Rally held by the PDP at Oxbow lake were a serving lawmaker representing Brass 2 Constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon. Alfred Watson(APGA), President Buhari’s Representative in Ogbia Local Government Area in the 2015 elections, Chief Orifie Ene, an ex-militant leader and the Chairman of the Bayelsa Waterways Security , Mr. Akparasia Africa popularly known as General Africa and 98 leaders of the party in the state.
But the APC, through its leader and Former Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, in a two paragraph reaction, said the purported defection of Chief Tiwei was a ruse and that he had been expelled from APC for serving as a mole to the PDP.
According to Sylva, through a statement signed by his new Media Aide, Julius Ogunro, “Mr Tiwei never defected from the APC as he had been expelled by the party a while ago for treachery and fifth-column activities. He had been hob-knobbing with the PDP for years and was merely a mole. The APC in Bayelsa state is stronger now that the moles have left.”
Responding to the allegations of violence, Sylva, stated that “Isnt it ironic a man who is believed to have masterminded the august 18 2017 shooting at the state secretariat which left three people dead will find the moral patronage to accuse another person of violence? A man who, until he dabbled recently to politics have been a gun-trothing, gun-running creek bandit”
At the rally, Governor Seriake Dickson while receiving the defectors, said that the latest batch of decampees from the APC signified the death of the party in the state.
He stressed that the 98 leaders of the APC led into the PDP by the former Chairman of the party represented the soul of the opposition party which gave the PDP a fight for the Governorship of the state in 2015.
aid that those who defected to the PDP were the real members of the party different from the supposed leaders of the party whose influence was prominent only on the pages of newspapers.
He said, “We welcome Chief Tiwei Oruminiye, our brother Africa, our member in House of Assembly, Hon. Alfred Watson, Chief Gita and indeed the 98 leaders and over 5000 members of the APC to the PDP.
“With what has happened, we have already brought down the APC in Bayelsa. These are the original owners of the APC and they represented the soul of the APC.
“These were the people who engaged us in the fight for the Governorship of the state in 2012. They tried their best but we were too much for them.
“Although I don’t intend to mention names, I know that the person they worked for should be grateful to these people. Everywhere we went during the election , these were the people that we saw.
“When they were doing the fraud in Oporoma, these were the people we saw. The APC does not have a life with the defection of these people to our party.”
Governor Dickson promised to ensure that those coming into the PDP from the APC were treated fairly and given the same treatment as the members they are meeting in the party.
He called on the few remaining members of the party who were opposed to cultism, violence and were interested in the development of Bayelsa to dump the APC which a described as a haven for cultists and violent people.
He urged all those nursing political ambitions to go about them without fear of molestation stressing that the party under his leadership was ready provide a level playing ground for all aspirants.
Speaking also at the event, the former Chairman of the APC, Chief Tiwei Orunimiye, said that he alongside others brought the APC to Bayelsa but decided to dump it because its lack of mission and vision.
He described the leader of the party in the state, Chief Timipre Silva, as a businessman rather than a politician.
He criticized Silva’s approach and violent disposition to the resolution of party issues from the Stste to the national level.
The former APC Chief said that Bayelsa would not opt for cultism in place of good and creative leadership provided by Governor Dickson.
He contradicted an alleged claim by Sylva that those who defected to the PDP betrayed him, saying those who left the party were the ones who engaged the PDP during the last election at Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
He stressed that Sylva could go to court to contest the outcome of the last election because of the efforts of the 98 leaders who led their followers into the PDP on Saturday.
The members who came enmasse to the venue displayed their party cards which they later tore to shreds.
In his address, the State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Moses Cleopas described the APC as party that was not only dead in the state but would also die at the national level.
He urged members of the PDP to exploit their leadership qualities to win elections for the PDP in the state.