ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri has expressed total commitment to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He has, therefore, rejected the reported overtures by some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state that he should take a cue from other PDP governors and defect to the APC.
Diri, who said he wasn’t going anywhere, however, appreciated the APC for acknowledging that his administration is performing in Bayelsa in terms of development and good governance.
He said the call for him to dump PDP was “unfortunate, provoking and unwelcoming’.
A one-time Deputy Governor of the State, Chief Peremobowei Ebebi, had at the weekend, during stakeholders meeting of the APC in Ekeremor Local Government Area, called on Diri to emulate other governors and dump the PDP which he described as a “sinking ship”.
But Diri, through his Director General, New Media, Mr. Kola Oredipe, declared that the Governor remained a strong, committed and one of the leaders of the PDP in the country and had no reason leaving the party for another, now or in the near future.
Oredipe in a statement on Sunday described the call from the APC leaders as unfortunate, provoking and unwelcoming.
He said: “It will be a political suicide to leave the only party that exists in Bayelsa State to join a party that has no root, structure in the state.
“Ebebi must be a joker. We know him for many acts of theatrics and at this time too, it is not different. He has confessed that the Governor is not doing badly meaning that the PDP is on the right track, why then go to join a party that has taken Nigeria many years back?”
The media aide wondered if Ebebi was not aware of high profile members of the opposition members who had since joined the PDP and aligned with the vision of the prosperity government for a united and greater Bayelsa State.
In a related development, an Ijaw religious advocate, Apostle Bodmas Kemepadei, said Ebebi’s overtures were capable of plunging the state into another phase of poverty.
He challenged Ebebi to rather use his influence to attract federal government’s interventions in the ongoing construction of the Sagbama/Ekeremor road that also connects his village.
He described Ebebi’s statement as irresponsible and without any sense of patriotism.
He stated: “Such irresponsible statements without any form of patriotism coming from an elder statesman, who once served Bayelsa as a deputy governor only points to the fact that Bayelsa’s underdevelopment is the product of previous handlers who had no vision for the state, but to gather wealth and advance their political reputation.
“Our people are being marginalised in federal appointments, yet the former deputy governor keeps mute because of political party interest. Recently, there was recruitment in the Civil Defence, Bayelsa’s positions were replaced with those non-indigenes?
“As a chieftain of the APC, he should be using his position to attract federal government projects, jobs and other opportunities into the state just like the Northerners are doing. But what we see our own doing is the reverse, using their party platform to undermine, deprive our people of federal benefits and promote disunity.
“Clearly, Ebebi’s politics is to Bayelsa’s disadvantage and by extension, the Ijaw nation. Less than two years in office, Bayelsa is transforming into a burgeoning city under Governor Diri. The governor is currently constructing a senatorial road that also connects Ebebi’s village to the capital city. Does the Governor need to be in his party before he can advocate federal intervention?”
He said that Ebebi’s arbitrary position is a confirmation that those who came on the platform of “change” have ended up even being worse than those that they came to change.
He, therefore, advised Ebebi to rethink his actions and tender a public apology to Governor Diri.