About 4,000 members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri Southwest Local Government of Delta State, at the weekend, defected to All Progressives Congress (APC).
Gbaramatu Kingdom is a PDP stronghold.
An APC chieftain and indigene of the kingdom, Chief Michael Johnny, who is deputy chair of the Mainstream Delta APC (MDA), a pressure group in the party, received the defectors, urging them to inform others that the salvation of the Ijaw would be realised through the APC.
Addressing reporters, Vice Chairman of the state APC, Olorogun Cyril Ogodo, said hailed the ‘’submission’’ of Gbaramatu, describing it as key to winning Delta.
He enjoined people to pray for the state to successfully go through the process of escaping the hold of PDP in 2019.
“You should be in no doubt that Gbaramatu Kingdom is the backbone of the Ijaw. What you are witnessing here today is the final burial ceremony of PDP in Delta State because one area APC had not been able to crack in Delta State, since 2015, is this kingdom. But God has made it possible for us today. It’s a big plus for APC in Delta State.
“My advice to Deltans is that they should be steadfast; be prayerful because to remove the Goliath in Delta State, you need the wisdom of God. That giant that has held Deltans hostage for more than 18 years. Prayers can remove them. APC and PDP are going to fight in 2019 and the war is going to bring freedom to the people. APC government is going to be in charge of this state from 2019.
“The population you are seeing here is more than 3,000; you can see the hall here and you can see the people outside. You can see the brother of the deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro, he spoke last. He’s among those who have just defected to APC. We are harvesting them, we will not leave any stone unturned, we will go to the nooks and crannies of Ijaw to ensure they support APC,” Ogodo said.
Johnny said the kingdom had been in turmoil since it fell into the hands of PDP, adding that the exclusion the majority of the people in Gbaramatu suffered under PDP would soon end.
His words: “PDP has failed us. In Gbaramatu, you cannot point to one project they have executed, none in Burutu, none in Patani, none in Bomadi, none in Egbema, not even in parts of Warri South. It is because we are not united.”
Dignitaries at the event include the state Secretary of the party, Comrade Chidi Okonji; Financial Secretary, Ebiakpo Ezebiri; an elder from Oporoza, traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu, Chief Joel Gbanale and others.