Bayelsa Poll : PDP Kicks as Ebebi, others join APC . - NATIONAL CATALYST


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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Bayelsa Poll : PDP Kicks as Ebebi, others join APC .

A former Deputy Governor in Bayelsa State and prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ebebi Peremobowei, has resigned his membership of the party ahead of the November 16 governorship election.

Ebebi, also a former Speaker, sent his resignation letter dated October 11 to the party’s Chairman in Ward 3 Alaebiri, Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.

Ebebi’s abandonment of the PDP was described by party stakeholders as a big blow to the party especially as it came at a time he was appointed and listed as a PDP Coordinator West in the party’s campaign council.

Besides, it was gathered that Governor Seriake Dickson, was recently in a warm embrace with Ebebi, who assured him that his initial rumored defection was a fluke.

However, Ebebi in the letter, said he decided to leave the party after experiencing and enduring enduring an excruciating period of a largely fraudulent internal democracy in the state chapter of the PDP.

He said: “I have come to this hard decision after experiencing an enduring and excruciating period of a largely fraudulent internal democracy in the state chapter of the PDP, disregard and disrespect for due process as entrenched in the PDP constitution and electoral guidelines, high-handedness and desperation of the party’s leadership.

“The fact that my membership of the party is ending does not diminish the great political experience I have enjoyed. It has been absolutely outstanding.

“I am thankful for the opportunity the Larry gave me to serve the state in various capacities especially as a two-time Speaker of the State House of Assembly and two-time Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, which offered me outstanding political career development and enabled me gained irreplaceable experience in politics”.

Also other appointees of the Seriake Dickson-led Bayelsa State Government, have left their jobs in the ongoing realignments ahead of the election in the state.

The Director, Ethics and Compliance, Due Process Bureau, Benjamin Ogbara and Dickson’s Special Adviser on Culture, Chief Natus Zebakame, tendered their resignation letters on Thursday.

Others are Special Adviser on Agriculture, Godspower Ake; serving Commissioner 1 in the Bayelsa State Local Government Service Commission, Berry Negerese; the Special Assistant on Student Affairs, Iniruo Ipogi and Special Adviser on ICT Development, Clever Ebede among others.

Zebakame in his letter thanked the governor for giving him the privilege to serve the government and the people of the state.

He said: “This is, therefore, a formal notification to the government and the people of Bayelsa State as the decision to resign my appointment is entirely personal”.

Ogbara on his part said he took the decision to resign to enable him go back to his private legal practice.

He also thanked the governor, who found him worthy of the appointment and expressed his best wishes to the people of the state.

But the PDP in a statement by its State Chairman , Chief Moses Cleopas, said that the party would win the forthcoming gubernatorial election with or without those defecting to the All Progressives Congress.

He said the Bayelsa people and followers were not with the defectors who according to him, lack the requisite character, principle and integrity.

Cleopas alleged that the defecting politicians were motivated by greed and the inordinate quest for political positions being dangled to them by the APC.

He said that the PDP won the election convincingly in 2015 in spite of the spate of defections and would repeat the feat in the next election without such unstable characters.

The PDP Chairman said he was reacting to a wild frivolous claim by Ebebi, that he was defecting from the party because of high handedness and fraudulent primaries conducted by the leadership of PDP.

He said that the difference between the party leadership and the defecting politicians was the lack of capacity to resist the temptation of suspicious political offers and even threats.

He recalled that the government regularised Ebebi’s position as a former Deputy Governor and approved a monthly pension of N2.5million, for him, which he has been collecting since 2012 till date in addition to other forms of material and financial support.

He added that Dickson also appointed Ebebi, as the Bayelsa State Representative for the Niger Delta Development Commission in 2014.

He said that it was rather shocking that Ebebi, whose nominee was still a serving Commissioner, could come out to launch a scathing attack on the government and the party to justify his defection to the APC because of greed and inordinate quest for political offices.

According to the party Chairman, Ebebi was among the first leaders of the party to make a strong case for Senator Douye Diri, later discovered to be his cousin, as the best of the aspirants of the PDP to support in the primaries.

He said that that it was even more shocking that Ebebi who had received and endorsed Diri and his team when they visited him in his Yenagoa residence opted to accept the position of the Director General òf the Chief Timi Alaibe campaign organization two days after.

He said that same Ebebi attended the flag off campaign rally of the PDP at the Oxbow Lake, on October 7, 2019, where he spoke in support of the PDP and its candidate.

Cleopas said information at his disposal showed that Ebebi submitted several names for appointment and employment after the rally which were carried out as agreed.

The PDP Chairman described it as the peak of absurdity for Ebebi to defect to the APC, using the PDP primaries as his reasons when the primaries conducted by the APC resulted in several court cases challenging the emergence of the party’s candidate, Chief David Lyon.

Cleopas challenged Ebebi to tell Bayelsans and Nigerians whether his impeachment from office by Chief Timipre Sylva was also highhanded.

He said that to the best òf his knowledge, the only request from Ebebi which the state government had not fully acceded to was his demand to pay a grossly inflated debt of about N400million purportedly owed his hotel by the state under Chief Timipre Sylva, whom he served as Deputy Governor.

Cleopas, who also commented on another defected member, Stephen Diver, described his defection as shameless display of ingratitude to a government and party that had sustained him over the years.

He recalled that Diver, who was the the first Special Adviser to leave the Government of Sylva In 2011, and who was accommodated by the Restoration Government, belonged to the class of Bayelsa politicians in want of character and values.

He said it was a fact that the Bayelsa State Government which accommodated Diver from 2012 to date spent almost N50million to send him abroad for medical treatment on three occasions since he suffered a stroke and had been largely incapacitated in the past one year.

He said that it was absurd and a tragic comedy for his class of person to embrace the filth of blackmail against a government and party of which he had been a part for over seven years.

He said that Diver met with the governor about two days ago to pledge his loyalty and to debunk the rumours that he was holding secret meetings with the opposition in reaction to the burden of a conscience that was pricking him.

He said Bayelsans and Nigerians could now see the kind of people parading themselves as leaders in the state with the action of Ebebi and Diver.

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