By SAM JONES
YENAGOA (Sundiata Post) – The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has inaugurated the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council in Bayelsa State at a rally in Yenagoa on Wednesday.
The state governor, Senator Douye Diri, inaugurated the campaign council with himself as chairman and his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo as vice chairman of the 300-member campaign council.
Former governor and senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson will head the Advisory Council.
Diri said in the past in Bayelsa State, whoever won the primary election was sure to emerge victorious in the general elections and that is where the party was heading to.
He stressed that the campaigns should be issue -based and not about propaganda and blackmail.
Meanwhile, the governor received decampees from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP) numbering over 1,200.
The defectors were announced by the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on Political Matters, Chief Collins Cocodia, during the inauguration of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council.
Prominent among the defectors are former Director-General of the APC Governorship Campaign Council in 2019, Prof. Seiyefa Brisibe, Dr. Steven Ogola, Mr. Lucky Amadi, Chief Ebikiri Akpolo and Mr. Edwin Oweibi.
Others are Adolphus Agwuo, Steven Adaka, Abaka Tamaraebi, Kankada Ebipabowei, Chief Ebikitin Diongoli, Adagbayan Hammoh, Kingsley Mirin and thousands of their followers.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Prof. Brisibe and Dr. Ogola said men of good conscience cannot remain in the APC as the party lacked leadership and integrity.
They said their time in the APC was like being in the wilderness for several years but had no choice than to return to the PDP for redemption.
They also stated that their decision was borne out of the sterling qualities of Governor Douye Diri and the good governance and infrastructural transformation being witnessed in the three senatorial districts of the state under his administration.
While receiving the defectors on behalf of the party, Governor Diri said the returnees and new members would enjoy all the rights and privileges that PDP members were entitled to.
He said: “On behalf of the leadership of the PDP, I welcome you back to the ruling party in the state.
“Let me also say that all the rights the PDP members enjoy are also entitled to you henceforth.”
In his goodwill message, the Senator representing Bayelsa West, Chief Seriake Dickson, promised to make the job of winning the presidential election easy for the governor based on the performance of the PDP in the state and as the only party to beat.
Also speaking, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, assured the governor and the PDP of total support and for its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.