Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson has said the party’s leadership is not worried about defections.
Dickson said although no party would want to lose any member, the defections would not affect the chances of PDP in the poll.
The governor, in a live media chat in Yenagoa, recalled that the defections were a child’s play compared to the mass exodus of PDP leaders to APC in 2015 when he sought a re-election.
According to him, over 150 PDP leaders dumped him and the party to identify with APC when the Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, contested against him.
He said most of the people who defected then, including his commissioners and special advisers, lost their units and wards in the election.
The governor noted that the defections were neither based on the election of Senator Douye Diri as the party’s candidate, nor the rancour over the running mate slot, but anchored on politics of survival.
Dickson said he was yet to hear that core members of his Restoration team were among persons defecting to the opposition.
He said: “This is a season of defection. If politicians don’t defect now, when will they? Is it when elections are over. The defection has been blown out of proportion.
“In 2015, over 150 prominent leaders, including the chairman, defected. You have not seen any defection like in 2015. Commissioners defected. I am not aware of prominent Restoration members defecting now.
“The other side has no qualified candidate for this election and they will find out very soon. The other side has nothing to offer our people, they know that already. We don’t want to lose anybody but most of what is going on is politics of blackmail. Those who could not get ticket are sponsoring people to say if they had won people would not have left the party. When I was contesting in 2015 and they defected, was it because Senator Diri was a candidate. I, an incumbent governor, was a candidate. There was no issue with deputy governor but people were defecting.
“What is happening is normal Bayelsa politics of belle …when during election people look for where they will be offered something better. A number of these names were not really part of our success story. Maybe one or two worked with us in the last election.”
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