Many supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the senatorial bid of ex-Governor Seriake Dickson.
Ekeremo is former Minister of State for Agriculture Heineken Lokpobiri’s local government area.
Dickson is aspiring for the Bayelsa West Senatorial seat vacated by Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
The leader of the defectors from Ekeremor Ward 8, Ebicks Lokpobiri, said the decision to defect to the PDP was informed by the need to reward the ex-governor for his commitment to issues of development in the area.
He said: “With the massive development the former governor has brought to us and his unique brand of politics, we have made up our minds to join the PDP and we are ready with our voter cards to come out on the day of the by-election to vote for the man who has given us road, schools, hospital and other social amenities.
”Dickson has done a lot for our people and the only way we can return such kind gesture is to vote for him to go and represent us at the Senate.”
The defection came as the traditional ruler of Ekeremor town, King Agbodo Gbaseimor, his traditional council, elders, youth and women groups have backed Dickson for the re-run.
The traditional ruler, whose community has the highest voting strength in the Ekeremor LGA lauded Dickson for his bold decision to frontally tackle the problem of development in the area.
He said that the ex-governor performed beyond expectations to bring development to Ekeremor community when he held sway as the governor and should be given the opportunity to go to the Senate to continue with his enviable legacy of development and love for his people.
Gbaseimor said that it was payback time for Dickson whose administration built a standard free secondary boarding school, several other schools and awarded scholarships to hundreds of Ekeremor students.
He stated that the ex-governor initiated the construction of the multi-billion naira Sagbama/Ekeremor Road which was allegedly abandoned by the Federal Government for over 40 years.
He said the critical road project made it possible for the indigenes of the area to drive to Ekeremor, Sampou, Aleibiri and other communities for the first time.
The monarch called on the present administration of Governor Douye Diri to ensure the completion of the Sagbama/Ekeremor Road and the 80-bed General Hospital built by Dickson for the community.