Sylva’s ex-aides return to PDP

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
May 1st, 2014
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Some ex-aides of former Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva yesterday “abandoned” their boss and reaffirmed their support for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and President Goodluck Jonathan.

The former aides, under the aegis of Ex-Bayelsa Government Officials Forum (EBGOF) and led by former Deputy Governor Seibarugu Werinipre, were received by Governor Seriake Dickson and the state PDP Chairman, Col. Sam Inokoba (rtd).

Dickson and Inokoba also received some persons who defected from other opposition parties.

In a brief ceremony held at the party’s secretariat in Yenagoa, the former officials reaffirmed their loyalty to the party and declared their commitment to work for President Jonathan.

Seibarugu lamented that since they were relieved of their appointments, they were treated like outcasts by the state PDP.

He blamed the development on Sylva’s decision to move to the All Progressives Congress (APC), an action he said led to the insinuation that all his former aides moved with him.

The former deputy governor said the development forced them to form EBGOF as a platform to formally debunk the impression.

“We make bold to announce to all Nigerians, especially Bayelsans, that all the people here and many more did not move to the APC with anyone.

“We remain bona fide PDP members and are committed to ensuring that the PDP wins at all levels of governance in Bayelsa State,” he said.

Declaring themselves as loyal party members, Seibarugu said their support for Jonathan and his transformation agenda is non-negotiable.

He asked the party to accord them the desired recognition and restore their rights and privileges.

Dickson said with the development the party would recognise and treat them individually as leaders.

He said their forum, EBGOF, had ceased to exist adding that the PDP does not allow formation of groups within it.

The governor urged them to prevail on their former boss to return to PDP, describing Sylva’s defection to APC as regrettable.

Addressing them, he said: “What you are doing is right. What unites us is bigger than party affiliations. It is unfortunate that my good friend and your former boss took the path he had taken.

“Though regrettable, it is within his rights. We are delighted that you have decided to come back to strengthen your party. Every party is as strong as its members.”

Sylva described his former aides as renegade loyalists, saying he won’t lose sleep over their public affirmation to PDP.

The former governor in a statement by his media aide, Doifie Ola, said the members of the group were never APC members.

He said: “Sylva wishes to make it clear that the said members of EBGOF were never members of APC in Bayelsa State – as they even confirmed in their own letter.

“The reference to Sylva in the said letter by the group was in very poor taste, as they have been on their own since he left office on January 27, 2012.

“It is, therefore, immoral to claim association with him in order to curry favour with whomever they wish.

“Sylva is a politician who believes in principle even in the face of relentless persecution.

“The APC, which he leads in Bayelsa State, has maintained a consistently increasing followership, despite the antiques and jitters of Abuja and their proxies in the state.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the APC train is on a steady course in Bayelsa State, and no propaganda can derail it.”

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