Over 900 members of the All Progressives Congress, APC party, in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa state have allegedly defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, following protest against a violation of the zoning formula in the APC which has seen the senatorial ambition of former Deputy Governor, Chief Peremobowei Ebebi, being challenged as causing division in the party.
On Tuesday, the 900 protesting members of the APC stormed the Toru Orua country home of the Peoples Democratic Party Senatorial Candidate, Chief Henry Seriake Dickson, the immediate past Governor of the State, to defect to the PDP in protest against the violation of the arrangement on zoning of the National Assembly seats in the Senatorial District.
The defectors led by the former Chairman of the Ogobiri Youth Association, Mr. Ekadi Tonbiri Desire, were received on behalf of the State chapter of the PDP by the Sagbama Local Government Chairman of the PDP, Mr Ofoni Oyafikunmo, the Senatorial Vice Chairman, Mr Michael Magbisa, the Chairman Sagbama Local Government Area, and Embeleakpo Alade.
The defectors include elders, women and youths’ leaders of APC from various communities including those in Ward 11, the largest in the local government area.
The leaders of the group include Amadiowei Ekadi, from Ogobiri Community, Chief Kongo koria (Kabiama Community), Ebiyakpo Dagana, (Dagana Community) Patrick Okunbiri Preye, ( Ogobiri) and APC women leader Felicia Araye from Ogobiri and others.
Spokesman of the group, Mr Ekadi Desire said that the APC members decided to pull out of the party because of the violation of the existing agreement on zoning of political offices between Sagbama and Ekeremor.
The youth leader said that it was common knowledge that the two National Assembly positions in the Senatorial District are shared between Ekeremor and Sagbama.
He said that it was inconceivable and provocative for the APC to field a candidate for the forthcoming Senatorial contest from Ekeremor when an Ekeremor son, Chief Fred Agbedi, occupies the position of the House of Representatives.
He said that a fair and just system should not have allowed an Ekeremor son to contest the Senatorial election in a brazen violation of the existing accord on zoning of National Assembly seats in the area.
He described Ebebi’s emergence as a deliberate and unacceptable oppression of APC members in Sagbama Local Government Area by the APC.
He stressed that the aggrieved members defected from the APC because of their belief in Chief Dickson’s ability, and readiness at all time to defend the Ijaw interest.
In his remarks, Chief Dickson said that the APC leadership was executing a deliberate plan to cause needless division and tension in the Senatorial District which shouldn’t be allowed.
He thanked the people for their support in all his elections such as the ones into the House of Representatives, the Governorship, his re-election and the Senate.
He said that those who were received into the PDP would be given equal rights as other PDP members, and urged them to join party members in the campaign.