Simon Utebor

 

 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s close friend, Mr. Diekivie Ikiogha, has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State.Goodluck-Jonathan

Ikiogha, who is a founding member of the PDP, crossed over to the APC at an elaborate ceremony held on Saturday at the Kpansia open field, Yenagoa, the state capital.

He defected with some other members of the erstwhile ruling party. Also, members of other political parties, including the All Progressives Grand Alliance, left with him for the APC.

Prominent members of the PDP that defected with him are Mr. Victor Awala, Mr. Paul Ajuwa, Mrs. D. Irene, Mr. Prince Abeki, a former commissioner, as well as over 150 former councillors from 1999 to 2012.
Besides, no fewer than 43 non-governmental organisations, under the aegis New Bayelsa Initiative, also filed out with Ikiogha, whom they described as a great grass-roots mobiliser.

Ikiogha, a former Bayelsa State Chief of Staff, said to be a trusted and dependable ally of Governor Seriake Dickson, is one of the brains behind the emergence of Dickson as governor in 2012.

But indications of a frosty relationship between Dickson and Ikiogha emerged when the former removed him from office in controversial circumstances and redeployed him to the state’s Abuja Liaison Office.

Ikiogha resigned his appointment in October 2014 to contest the House of Representatives ticket for the Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency. He, however, did not get the ticket.

Addressing the crowd that came to witness his formal movement to the APC, Ikiogha said he decided to quit the PDP because, according to him, it is a party full of betrayals and deceits.

He said, “There is lack of internal democracy and it is a party where the highest bidders always have their way.”

The National Chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, who was represented by the National Vice-Chairman, South-South, Mr. Hilliard Eta, performed the formal reception as he presented a broom, which is the symbol of the APC, to Ikiogha.

Odigie-Oyegun noted that the Dickson-led government of Bayelsa State had received over “N440bn from the Federal Government with nothing to show for it”, adding that what was left for Bayelsans was “to retire Governor Seriake Dickson”.

He, however, declared that the occasion was not meant to give Ikiogha a governorship ticket to contest the forthcoming Bayelsa State governorship election but to formally welcome him into the party.

He added that the process of electing a governorship flagbearer for the party would be conducted in a transparent primary election just like the process that produced Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s presidential candidate.

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