The camp of the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, was depleted on Monday as some of his principal aides and the state youth leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, Nunieh Odede, dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva.
Odede announced his resignation from the PDP in a handwritten letter while the governor’s top aides formally vacated their offices to campaign for Sylva ahead of the November 11 polls.
A statement signed by Sylva’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Julius Bokoru, confirmed that Odede and the other defectors had held a meeting with the APC flagbearer.
It listed the aides who abandoned Diri to pitch tent with Sylva as a director in the state environmental sanitation authority, Abiah Oyisor; three of the governor’s special advisers on special duties, Itu Goodluck, Timipa Ile and Olali Suwofien as well as his special representative in Yenagoa LGA, Ayaye Obuma.
Odede in the meeting, said, “We have spent years with the PDP and we built the party to where it is. We must move on now in the light of what is happening in the state.
“Bayelsa is in a comatose state and we cannot keep doing the old things and expect to get it right. Our resignations from the PDP, honestly, is to save our dear state from further ruin.”
The statement quoted Sylva as commending Odede and others for their courage and for choosing the progress and development of the state over selfish gains.
“Youths are always the driving force of every society, youths also embody and give a trajectory of what the future would look like. Your decisions today are heroic and selfless, you have placed state over self and beyond even the elections, you instil in us all that Bayelsa state is bound to do well.”
It stated that they would be received at a formal defection ceremony with thousands of their supporters following their resignations from the PDP and endorsement of APC and Sylva.
It said the defections had eroded the PDP governorship candidate’s chances of winning Yenagoa, the state capital, and particularly the Epie and Atissa kingdoms where Sylva was believed to be making political inroads.
The statement also confirmed that recently the APC deputy governorship candidate, Joshua Maciver, received thousands of defectors from Sagbama LGA and the home of the incumbent deputy governor of the state.