2019: Ex-NDDC chairman, 6,000 APC members defect to PDP

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has re-echoed his call on
members of the Peoples' Democratic Party, (PDP) to close ranks and
work together to brighten the prospects of the party ahead of the 2019
general elections.

A statement issued on Wednesday by the Governor's Chief Press
Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, said Dickson made the call in
Government House, Yenagoa during an interactive meeting with leaders
of the over six thousand people who had defected from the All
Progressives Congress (APC) to PDP.

The meeting was attended by former Chairman of the Niger Delta
Development Commission, Prof. Tarila Tebepah, Ayiba Duba, Gesiye Isowo
and Chief Jackson Suokiri and others.

Other defectors at the meeting are, Chief Ben Eyeororokumo, Hon.
Stephen Erebor, former Commissioner, Bayelsa West Senatorial district,
Chief Augustine Lugbenwei, onetime Chairman, Brass Local Government
Council, Mr Nathaniel Ngo-Sylva, Hon. Franklin Otele, Hon. Charles
Emmanuel, among others.

Dickson maintained that the PDP could not afford any distractions,
especially now that it is in opposition but intensify efforts at
clinching power at the centre.

He said he had forgiven all of the returnees whom he described as
friends and brothers. He stressed the need for politicians to focus on
development after elections, in the overall interest of the people.

Dickson urged them to join hands with the restoration government and
the PDP family in the state towards consolidating the achievements
already recorded.

His words:"The PDP you left behind is not the same now. At that time
we were in control of the Federal Government. But now, as you are all
aware, we are in opposition.

"And, if we needed one another at that time, now that we are in
opposition, hounded from all corners, this is the time we need
ourselves more for the sake of our people, the Niger Delta and the
Ijaw nation. We can't afford any distractions.

"I don't extend political fights beyond elections. All of you know, if
when we want to fight, we know how to fight politically.

"The reasons why I don't fight political battles after elections,
especially in our kind of our environment is because we don't have
people compared to other nationalities and secondly because of the
challenges of development with scarce resources are humongous.

"Instead of dissipating my energy on fights, once elections are over,
I concentrate on development.

"I don't like people using political power to affect people
negatively. If you can't affect somebody positively, leave the person
alone, because we are all brothers and friends. Each one of you is
very important to our people. We have built the PDP to the level that
only it can win election in the state.

"I tell people all the time, that power as we know only comes from God.
We are going to have a PDP's stakeholders meeting. You are all welcome
to the party; you are not joiners.

"I hereby direct all your caucus chairmen to instruct all your chapter
chairmen and all your party officials to make you relevant for I want
to see you involved in party activities from the ward to the state
level.

"I have no hard feelings, all bygones should be bygones. Let all of us
come back to the way we were. I have two more years to go but it is
still in my power to do a few things to promote further integration.

"We have made significant progress but we are still not where we want
to be, so I call for more unity and support. We inherited a very
negative and volatile political culture but we have managed to
maintain some level of peace and stability. It is a conscious choice
of avoiding needless fights and it is paying off.

"Our prayer is that God should give us the next team to lead the
state. It is my duty to support and pray for that team."
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