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PDP stalwarts to defect to APC in Bayelsa State

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There are indications that a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), some influential members and their supporters have perfected plans to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Southern Ijaw Council of Bayelsa State.

The aggrieved members of PDP were said to have expressed growing disenchantment with their wards’ leadership over what they described as “persecution and wickedness.”

It was learnt that Southern Ijaw Council commands the largest number votes in the state, but most party faithful and kinsmen of former Chairman of PDP, Moses Cleopas, had allegedly expressed their displeasure with him.

There were speculations that Cleopas, who represents Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, had always favoured his Koluama 2 constituents, immediate brothers and neglected their Koluama 1 counterparts.

A source claimed that Sele-Epri Matthew, who was a member of PDP Presidential Campaign in 2019, was also planning to dump the PDP. He alleged that Matthew, who is also PDP Ward Leader in Koluama 1 community, Southern Ijaw Ward 17, might have perfected plans to defect to the opposition party with his supporters.

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“His reason for considering dumping the PDP he had toiled for over the years is due to perceived persecution from Koluama 2 PDP stakeholders under the supervision of Cleopas and Nimibofa Ayawei.

The Guardian learnt that trouble began in the ward after the Keffes Rural Development Foundation (KRDF) elections, which had Matthew and Tibe-ebi Amadein, nephew to Cleopass as contestants.

Cleopas was said to have supported Amadein, who lost the elections, but a source said Cleopas allegedly used security apparatus against Matthew in a bid to install Amadein and lobby oil companies to fund his governorship ambition.

Matthew was also discovered to be a major financier of Cleopas’s senatorial quest.

“The people of Koluama 1 are complaining of marginalisation. They are saying that Cleopas and Ayawei from Koluama 2 hijacked the political and economic benefits accruing to the ward, leaving their Koluama 1 kinsmen in political wilderness.

“What is happening in Southern Ijaw now were the same reasons that led to the defection of former militants leader, Reuben Wilson, to the APC,” he said.

Some members of PDP, however, expressed concern that if Matthew leaves the party, it would not augur well for the party in Southern Ijaw and the entire state, insisting that only Governor Douye Diri’s timely intervention could avert the defections.

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