ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Some aggrieved stalwarts and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are reportedly set to dump the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State.
The angry members were said to have expressed growing disenchantment with their wards’ leadership over persecution and marginalisation.
In Southern Ijaw, many party faithful who are also kinsmen of former Chairman of the PDP, Senator Moses Cleopas, were alleged to be unhappy with him.
There were speculations that Cleopas, the Senator representing Bayelsa Central in the National Assembly, had always allegedly favoured his Koluama 2 constituents, immediate brothers and neglected those of Koluama 1.
A source alleged that Mr. Sele-Epri Mathew, a member of PDP Presidential Campaign in 2019, is one of those who is planning to dump the PDP.
The source, who craved anonymity, alleged that Mathew, who is also PDP Ward Leader in Koluama 1 community, Southern Ijaw Ward 17, might have perfected plans to defect with his supporters in droves.
According to the source, his reason for mulling the idea of abandoning the PDP he had toiled for over the years is due to perceived persecution from Koluama 2 PDP stakeholders under the alleged supervision of Senator Moses Cleopas and Dr. Nimibofa Ayawei.
Trouble in the ward was said to have started after the conduct of the Keffes Rural Development Foundation (KRDF) elections, which had Mr. Sele-epri Mathew and Mr. Tibe-ebi Amadein, a nephew to Sen. Cleopass as contestants.
Sen. Cleopas was said to have pitched a tent with his nephew who later lost the elections.
Findings further revealed that Sen. Cleopas is alleged to be using security apparatus against Mathew in a bid to install his nephew and lobby oil companies to fund his perceived governorship ambition.
Mathew was also discovered to be a major financier of Senator Cleopas senatorial quest.
The source alleged: “The people of Koluama 1 are crying of marginalisation. They are saying that political and economic benefits accruing to the ward are hijacked only by the duo of Senator Moses Cleopas and Hon. Nimibofa Ayawei from Koluama 2, leaving their kinsmen from Koluama 1 as political beggars.
“What is happening in Southern Ijaw now were the same reasons that led to the defection of a foremost ex-militants’ leader, Pastor Reuben Wilson, to the APC.”
It was learnt that if Matthew should leave the party, it would not bode well for the PDP in Southern Ijaw and by extension, the whole state.
It was also gathered that the intervention of Governor Douye Diri is the only way that the impending defection could be averted.