Yenagoa—A group, the Bayelsa Consultative Initiative has alleged that the former Bayelsa state governor, Senator Seriake Dickson is behind the recent gale of defection of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The group insists that majority of the defectors are Dickson’s choice aspirants who failed to clinch the PDP’s tickets for their respective positions, alleging that they are being sponsored by the ex-governor under SDP to contest their various positions in the 2023 general elections.
In a statement signed by its president, Elder Israel Ebimogha, the group alleged that the plan to seek an alternative platform to contest various elective positions in 2023 was hatched in the Abuja residence of the former governor.
“The recent gathering of certain politicians in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Bayelsa State has been linked to the immediate past Governor of the State and Senator representing Bayelsa West at the National Assembly, Henry Seriake Dickson.
“The former Governor is believed to be the one funding and sponsoring candidates for the 2023 elections under the SDP.
“Speculations are rife that Senator Dickson is still bitter at the outcome of the primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where most of his choice aspirants failed to scale through the exercise that was transparently conducted across the State.
“We are not unmindful of the relationship between Governor Diri and his immediate predecessor, Senator Dickson.
“The former governor is pushing too much, sitting in Abuja to remote a system not completely under his control. We are equally watching and seeing the maturity with which the Governor is handling all the issues.
‘We cannot fathom why a leader of a party will encourage his men to leave the PDP because they didn’t get the tickets in open and transparent primaries.
“It is ridiculous that the so-called aggrieved aspirants resolved to either go to court or join another political party and in this case, the SDP.
“Incumbent Senator Moses Cleopas of Bayelsa Central who lost his ticket to the former Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Konbowei Friday Benson, and Hon. Jonathan Obuebite, who lost the Nembe/Brass ticket of the PDP to Mrs. Marie Ebikake in court challenging the primaries These are distractions and totally unnecessary.
“We call on elders of the PDP in the State to call Dickson to order,” the statement reads.
The group believes other loyalists of the former governor have remained in the PDP to play an anti-party role during the campaigns leading to the election.
The group however warned Dickson not to heat up the polity in the state with his alleged quest to control the state and the party apparatus.
The following according to the group’s statement are Dickson’s loyalists who have left the PDP for SDP:
The group recalled that the Former Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, former Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Governor’s office, Mr. Alex Tesufa Dumbo, former Commissioner, Mr. Bekes Etifa who are Dickson’s loyalists have joined SDP.
Others, according to the statement, are former Chairman of Brass Local Government Area, Mr. Victor Isaiah, and the latest being a long-term political son of Dickson, immediate past Vice-Chairman of Ekeremor Local Government Council, Mr. Randy Awolowo.
All efforts to get the reaction of Dickson proved abortive as at press time.