Some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa, including the party’s youth leader, Nunieh Odede, have dumped the party.
Mr Odede and others switched allegiance from Governor Douye Diri to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timipre Sylva, ahead of the state’s November 11 poll.
In a handwritten letter signed on Monday in Yenagoa, Mr Odede announced his resignation from PDP while other principal aides of the governor also resigned to campaign for Mr Sylva.
A statement on Monday by Mr Sylva’s media aide, Julius Bokoru, confirmed that Mr Odede held a meeting with the APC governorship hopeful.
Mr Bokoru quoted Mr Odede as saying at the meeting: “We have spent years with the PDP, and we built the party to where it is; it is imperative we move on now in the light of what is happening in the state.
“Bayelsa is in comatose, and we cannot keep doing the old things and expect to get it right.
“Our resignation from PDP, honestly, is to save our dear state from further ruin.”
The statement also quoted Mr Sylva to have commended the courage of Mr Odede and other defectors, who chose the progress and development of the state over selfish gains.
According to the statement, Mr Sylva said, “Your decision today is heroic and selfless.
“You have placed the state over self and beyond even the elections.”
The statement listed those who defected from PDP to APC to include the director of Bayelsa State Environmental Authority, Abiah Oyisor; the governor’s representative, Yenegoa Local Government Area, Ayaye Obuma.
The other aides to the governor were Itu Goodluck, Timipa Ile and Mr Olali.
Mr Bokoru also stated that the defectors would be formally received with thousands of their supporters at a formal endorsement ceremony.
He added that the defection further diminished Mr Diri’s chances of winning Yenagoa, the capital city, especially the Epie/Atissa kingdoms, where he claimed that Mr Sylva was making significant inroads.