The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva, have received about 50,000 decampees, including leaders, aides to Governor Douye Diri, and members of other political parties, ahead of the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Some of the decampees were members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), among others.
The decampees were received at the party secretariat in Yenagoa by the party’s national chairman, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who was represented by the APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Alhaji Ali Dalori.
Among those defectors were two former commissioners, Chief Saviour Ibegu (from Ogbia Local Government Area) and Chief Diodei Week (from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area).
Also, former local government chairmen Victor Isaiah (Brass), Natheniel Sylva (Brass), and Ebinyu Turner (Ogbia) defected to the APC.
Nathaniel Sylva, who was a senior special assistant to Governor Diri, said he decided to leave the PDP to team up with the APC governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, to rescue the state.
In his par, Isaiah, stating the reasons for leaving the PDP, explained that the APC and its governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva, have the requisite experience and support of people at the grassroots to become the next governor of Bayelsa State.
Also speaking, Chief Ibegu noted that the Ogbia people have benefited from the leadership of Sylva with the appointment of their son, Samuel Ogbuku, as Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and it is now time to reciprocate his love for the Ogbia people by voting for him.
In his speech, Ogbuku declared that Ogbia people are grateful people and have decided to pay back the love Sylva has for Ogbia Kingdom by voting massively for him.
Receiving the decampees, the APC governorship candidate and the immediate-past minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the decampees will be fully integrated into the APC fold.
Sylva urged the new members to go out and work for the success of the APC in the forthcoming November 11 governorship election in the state.
The former governor said some of the decampees, numbering about fifty thousand, were special advisers to the current Bayelsa state governor, Douye Diri.
Sylva also added that “no stone will be left unturned to ensure victory at the November poll.”
He revealed that the serving commissioner in the State Executive Council has also indicated interest in joining the APC from the PDP but was threatened with eviction from his place of abode by Diri’s administration.
Sylva declared that “no amount of intimidation and desperation by the PDP government in the state can stop the APC from winning the governorship election.”
Also speaking, Gome state governor and the Chairman, Bayelsa state National Governorship Campaign Council, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, urged the decampees to ensure that “APC takes over state in the coming election so as to connect Bayelsa to the centre.”
The Gombe State governor also urged both the new and old members of the APC to take the message of hope and development to the nooks and crannies of the state in order to drum up support for the party’s gubernatorial candidate.