President: it’s time to move to APC
•Commissioners, govt officials dump PDP
There was massive support yesterday for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, to wrest power from Governor Seriake Dickson.
Party faithful, residents and APC leaders thronged the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa to back Sylva’s ambition.
President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo; APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the ex-Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, added colour to the final rally of the APC.
The National Working Committee of the party temporarily relocated to Bayelsa State, as the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, led other members of the committee to the rally described by people as APC’s icing on the cake.
Governors elected on the platform of the party like Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo) represented by his deputy, Eze Madumere, attended the campaign.
The event was further spiced with the presence of APC governorship candidates in the Southsouth states, who are seeking justice in courts- Dakuku Peterside (Rivers), Otega Emerhor (Delta) and Umana Umana (Akwa Ibom).
Senator Magnus Abe was also there.
The Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir Lawal and ministers graced the occasion.
The ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were further depleted and the chances of Dickson narrowed, following the defections of commissioners and government officials to the APC.
Artistes like Face, Maleke, J. Martins and Desmond Eliot, now a lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, entertained the crowd.
A group of beautiful maidens called Sylva Angels thrilled the audience with their victory dance.
APC supporters defied the scorching sun to attend the event.
President Buhari said it was time for Bayelsa to change from PDP to APC, to realign with the centre.
He said: “The time for change has come. The time of prosperity, the time of good governance has come. Don’t miss the train. We are expectingBayelsans to participate in what we are doing at the federal level. Bayelsa deserves its pride of place among the states.
“This state and its people are great. But you must do the right thing. The right thing is to defect from the PDP to the APC. It is time to move. On Saturday, vote for change by voting for APC. Go to the polling centres with your permanent voter cards (PVCs) and effect that change you desire.
“If you do so, you will have the right to demand. You will have the right to ask our candidate, who will be the next governor, what he has promised you. I assure you that you will see a real difference.
“There will be jobs, progress in this state. Everyone of us looking for promotion will have it by the grace of God. You will achieve great things.”
Asiwaju Tinubu, whose presence excited the crowd, urged the people to send PDP and its 16 years of ineptitude out of office.
He said after 16 years of government, the party could only boast of hunger, unemployment, darkness and lack of basic amenities.
The ex-Lagos State governor said APC was the cure for unemployment and other problems caused by the PDP misrule.
He said the people, who were led into the wilderness, now have the opportunity to enjoy prosperity “by voting out Poverty Development Party.”
Tinubu, who spent time to demonstrate to the people where and how they should vote on Saturday, enjoined them to eschew violence at the polls.
He told them to vote for the broom, the APC symbol and defend their votes by waiting and ensuring that they are counted.
The APC national leader said Saturday’s election represents freedom for the people, stressing that the road to freedom is not easy.
His words: “For 16 years you have been led in the wilderness by the Poverty Development Party. Send PDP away with its poverty. No potable water, jobs and electricity.
“Vote and defend your votes. They are already afraid. You are the master. Sylva is back. He has bounced back. Only you can make him win.”
Lawal advised the people to join the government at the centre.
According to him, identifying with the centre would enable the state have its fair share of dividends of democracy.
Odigie-Oyegun thanked the people for welcoming him with surprises each time he visited the state.
He urged them to give him the most important gift by returning Sylva to the Government House.
The APC national chairman said the party and the Federal Government relocated to the state to demonstrate the value attached to Bayelsa State.
Odigie-Oyegun, who called for a minute’s silence each for the late Abubakar Audu and the late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, said Sylva would offer security, employment and other dividends of democracy if elected.
He said: “Saturday is the red-letter day. It will be the biggest present to our dear President when you return Sylva to the Government House. Victory is assured.”
Sylva said he would rescue Bayelsa from darkness, dirt, unemployment and underdevelopment.
Said he: “Our people will experience prosperity. Bayelsa State will be developed. Salaries, pensions and gratuities will be paid. We will focus on diversifying the economy, creating jobs, wealth and providing security. We will strengthen the civil service.
“We will pay civil servants salaries and give students scholarships. It is wicked to send our children abroad on scholarships and ask them to fend for themselves. Vote for APC and make sure your votes are counted.
“We must not allow violence. On Saturday, Pharaoh will fall and the Egyptians will be under the Red Sea. This is the meaning of Opuabadi. My government will be about you and not about my family.”