Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
As a fallout of the National Assembly primaries in Bayelsa State, mass defection of aggrieved members a;pears on the horizon in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Investigations revealed that aggrieved members across the three senatorial districts and five federal constituencies are said to be bitter that the party leadership in spite of assurances of a level playing field disregarded all norms of democratic process and imposed candidates on the party.
The three Senatorial candidates for the party are Mr. Lawrence Ewhrudakjop (Bayelsa West) Mr. Blessing Izagara (Bayelsa East) and Hon. Douye Diri (Bayelsa Central). Those of the House of Representatives are Fred Agbedi (Sagbama/ Ekeremor ), Prof. Steve Azaiki (Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma), Hon. Friday Konbowei Benson(Southern Ijaw), Fred Obua(Ogbia ) and Mrs. Maria Ebikake (Nembe/Brass).
Hon. Udengs Eradiri, who disclosed that he and many of the party members across the 105 wards in the state, could leave PDP in droves in the coming days, expressed sadness that the party has learnt no lesson from the electoral loss of 2015.
According to him, “The undemocratic process of the primary election started with the election of ad-hoc delegates which was done without the knowledge of aspirants.”
Eradiri, who alleged that he was shot at, added that many supporters of certain aspirants were molested by thugs imported into the venue of the election.
“During the National Assembly primary election I saw the height of an undemocratic process. 12 wards of my federal constituency were excluded.
“There was violence, delegates were molested and I was shot at. Above all the principles of a free, fair, and credible process was not adhere to.
“It was not as if I did not expect it, I just believe that a party that came out of the 2015 election wounded as a result of lack of internal democracy and imposition of candidates, that leaders would have learnt some lessons.
“Having considered all the factors surrounding the current electoral process in PDP, I have come to the conclusion that the PDP is not where I would be able to express myself.
“I have learnt the hard way and I want to formally thank the leadership of the party and the state for giving the opportunity learn the ropes unfortunately no level field was provided to express myself.
“I want to formally inform the world that today October 4, I formally exit the PDP.”
Findings indicated that other aggrieved aspirants have entered into talks with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Action Democratic Party (ADC) and the Youth Democratic Party (YDP).
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, concerned about the fallout of the primaries for the National Assembly, was said to have called for a stakeholders meeting at the Government House to clam frayed nerves over the outcome.
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