Success Nwogu, Abuja
Moves by the Peoples Democratic Party National Reconciliation Council to resolve the crisis in the Bayelsa and Kogi chapters of the party following the outcome of the November 3 primaries are being hindered by some developments, our correspondent learnt on Friday.
The peace panel headed by the immediate past Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, was inaugurated on October 11 by the National Working Committee led by the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus.
It was learnt that the defections in Bayelsa State following the emergence of Douye Diri as the PDP candidate for the election, and ex-Kogi State Governor Ibrahim Idris’ alleged refusal to accept the choice of Musa Wada as the candidate for the election allegedly made things difficult for the panel.
Former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Timi Alaibe, Deputy Governor Jonah John and others were said to be unwillingly to be part of any peace talks following the role Governor Seriake Dickson allegedly played in the emergence of Diri.
Alaibe is challenging the outcome of the Bayelsa primary in court.
Meanwhile, about 13 prominent PDP leaders in the state had either resigned from the government or from the party while some of them defected to the All Progressives Congress.
A former Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Ebebi Peremobowei, a strong member of the PDP, reportedly dumped the PDP for the APC.
The younger brother of the incumbent deputy governor, Mr Gabriel Jonah, led his ‘Otita Force’ members to the APC in Nembe Local Government Area. Also in Nembe, a former senator who represented the area and former President Goodluck Jonathan’s ally, Nimi Amange, also dumped the PDP for the APC. Dickson’s two former aides, Mr Abenego Evarada and Mrs Helen Bob, also dumped the party for the APC.
In addition, a former member of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Parkinson Markmanuel, Omonibeke Kemelayefa, Abadani Dick and Glad Amabib, also left the PDP.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Chief Bright Erewari-Igbeta; Director, Ethics and Compliance, Due Process Bureau, Benjamin Ogbara; Special Assistant on Students’ affairs, Iniruo Ipogi; Special Adviser on Information and Communication Technology, Natus Zebakame; and Special Adviser, Lawrence Ebede have also resigned their appointment from the state government.
Also, a prominent politician, Chief James Jephthah, aka Octopus, said he and his political associates under the Octopus Umbrella, decided to withdraw their membership of the PDP.
The coordinator of the PDP governorship campaign council in Brass Local Government Area, Chief Beimo Spiff, left the PDP for the APC.
A source close to the Saraki panel said, “They have made a lot of progress in the two states. The committee members have mapped out strategies. They have met various groups including Jonathan’s people.
The Deputy Chairman, of the Bayelsa PDP Governorship Campaign Council, Dr Kachy Ononuju, said there was no cause for alarm over the defections, maintaining that PDP would win the election.
Secondus while briefing the PDP NWC said Saraki informed him that the reconciliation strategies were going smoothly.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in an interview with our correspondent, said the peace panel had reached out to all the 32 aspirants.
He said, “He said, “The reconciliation is going well. There was a briefing on the Saraki committee to the NWC that it is going prosperously. They have gone very far. The issue in Kogi is essentially about the former governor, Ibro, and his political group, we were briefed by the chairman on the efforts so far by the National Reconciliation Committee headed by Saraki and how much progress the committee had achieved.