Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
An aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the just-concluded governorship primary election in Bayelsa State, Mr Kenebi Okoko, has frowned at the gale of defections that hit in the party shortly after the emergence of Senator Douye Diri as the flag bearer of the party.
Okoko in a statement he personally signed kicked against politicians who defect from their parties after losing elections, insisting that the practice was bad for the country’s nascent democracy.
According to him, Nigerian politicians as well as their followers must begin to play value-based politics, maintaining that destroying a political platform because an aspirant lost an election was not in the best interest of the state.
Okoko who cautioned party loyalists and other major stakeholders threatening to leave the PDP because the primaries did not favour a particular aspirant said they should have a rethink in the interest of the people of the state.
He disclosed that he visited to congratulate his rival, Senator Douye Diri, candidate of the PDP because he was convinced that it was in the best interest of the people of Bayelsa to do so.
“It’s the love for Bayelsa State that made me to visit Douye Diri. The same urge to move my state forward, has made me go and listen to Governor Seriake Dickson and to support the party because I believe that collectively, we can make a change. Not one governor can change a state. We need collective effort and if your governor is doing something that you don’t like, you don’t run away from the party, you confront him. Today, if I am on the seat with Governor Dickson, I can tell him sir, this thing you are doing is wrong sir. We should try and unify the party and not divide it. We need the kind of people who will tell them the truth, rather than lying to him because of personal ambition. We need to say the truth,” he maintained.
Meanwhile the wave of defections that has hit the PDP especially that of Mr Gabriel Jonah, brother to the incumbent deputy- governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Johan has given the party discomfort in Nembe.
Gabriel Jonah who is the leader of a grassroots mobilisation group, Otita Force, was believed to have left the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) because of what he perceived to be the ill-treatment meted out to the deputy-governor who contested the governorship primaries.
Jonah who was instrumental to the victory of the PDP in the 2015 governorship election in Nembe Ogbolomabiri and in the National Assembly and House of Assembly election in 2019, had vowed to work for the success of his new party in the November 16 governorship election.
There were fears that the defection of Jonah would be followed by other big heavyweights in Nembe and Brass Local Government Area of the state.