Barring any change in plans, 70 Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) stalwarts, including some of its founding members in Bayelsa State, will on Saturday dump the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was gathered that the mass movement, called “the mother of all defections”, may narrow the chances of the PDP, which is bedevilled by a protracted internal crisis.
The party has been at a crossroads since its primaries for the last general elections, following allegations of anti-party activities against some of its leaders.
The inactions of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the alleged excesses of his wife, Dame Patience, including the re-election ambition of Governor Seriake Dickson, are said to have further polarised the party.
It was gathered that 500 loyalists of the defecting heavyweights will also dump the PDP for APC in what many people consider a political tsunami.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and five APC governors are expected be in Yenagoa, the state capital, next Saturday to receive the defectors.
Top in the list of the defectors are: former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and former Special Adviser to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, Chief Ndutimi Alaibe.
Others are: Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, former Acting Governors Nestor Binabo and Werinipre Seibarugu and Governor Seriake Dickson’s former Honourary Adviser, Chief Alex Ekiotenne.
Also billed to defect are: former Deputy Governor Peremobowei Ebebi, Senator John Brambaifa, Senator Clever Ikisipo, Emmanuel Otiotio, former House of Representatives member, Dr. Stella Dorgu, former NDDC Chairman, Prof. Tarila Tebepah and Rear Admiral F. B. I. Porbeni (retd.).
Also, former Representatives Christopher Enai, Warman Ogoriba, Bonus Indiamaowei, Nelson Belief, Nadu Karibo – and former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Gideon Ekeowe and former Deputy Speaker Fini Angaye, will join the APC.
Former commissioners, like Lionel Jonathan-Omo, Chief Alex Ekiotenne, Charity Vedalago, Sylvanus Abila, Chief Abeke Ebikake, Chief Diekivie Ikiogha, Godknows Powell, Capt. Matthew Karim (retd.), Chief Nathan Egba, Topido Amananagha, Ebitimi Amgbaye, Frank Oputu, are also expected to join APC.
Ekiotenne presented the list of defectors to reporters in Yenagoa.
He said they would formally declare for the APC at a mega rally on August 15.
Ekiotenne said the defectors also comprise Chief Hings Dumbo, Selebina Saboh, Prince Abeki, Mrs. Tonye Apreala, Miebi Biribina (philanthropist), and many former special advisers and governor’s representatives.
According to him, besides Vice-President Osinbajo, APC National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun, five governors, former Governor Timipre Sylva and other APC stalwarts, including its Chairman, Chief Tiwei Orunimighe, will be on hands on Saturday.