Timi Alaibe, the Legal Wilderness and The River Between

Timi Alaibe

Allison Abanum wants Timi Alaibe, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission to join hands with Senator Douye Diri, Peoples Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate in Bayelsa State in collective interest

Six weeks after the Bayelsa State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial primaries that produced Senator Douye Diri as winner, the dust from the exercise is yet to settle properly. Though the PDP is far better and stronger positioned to win the November 16, gubernatorial election in the state and the party should be grateful to the able Governor Seriake Dickson, who is frantically leading the party in the state on the right path.

Not many people had expected any legal battle after the PDP primaries given the way and manner the election was conducted and broadcast live on national media.

Timi Alaibe, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, who was one of the main contenders at the primary, had gone to seek legal redress.

Alaibe, who came second in the primary frowned at what he described as inexcusable faulty processes that preceded the primary election. Meanwhile, the Pro- Dickson state executive of the PDP in the state had constituted a nine-member committee to reconcile aggrieved members, who had expressed their dissatisfaction with the primary. Governor Dickson had openly confessed that he had tried in vain to meet with Alaibe for reconciliation talk. Alaibe on his part had claimed that it was a collective decision of stakeholders in the state that prompted him to contest the primary election outcome. And, to this end, the legal step he had taken was based on the decision of stakeholders.
Nobody can fault the fact that Alaibe is a great leader and in a class of his own. He probably had remained in the PDP after the primary outcome, because he had seen it all both as a member of the opposition party in the state and as a member of the state ruling party and that shows maturity by all standard.

Common sense on moral ground demands that Alaibe should not work against the PDP at the November 16 gubernatorial election for reasons of what he shares with Senator Diri Douye as a kinsman and former political ally.

Working against the PDP will equally amount to counter productive of his prayer at the federal high court sitting in Yenagoa, asking to set aside the submission of Diri’s name to INEC by the PDP as its candidate in the gubernatorial election.

Though Politics is very deep and anything can happen in a second against ethics, morality and principles, wisdom should prevail. The issue is now that Alaibe is bent on going to court, would it be a wild goose chase?
Should Alaibe not do a re-think and re-strategise for posterity sake? Should he not save his time, energy, and resources to re-tool the party for more victory and the future? And really, does the polity, at this point, need the possible tension and heat up that a protracted legal tussle can generate?

Unless Alaibe answers these questions with utmost sincerity, he may end up realising that the recourse to the court may just be a walk through the wilderness, where neither a defined path nor destination is assured.

Absolute caution is needed, because at the end of the tunnel, the eventual outcome will turn one into a hero and the other into a villain and the river between will just get wider and wider and the memory cannot be proscribed because of what had been closely shared in the past among the actors.

Regarding the position that the collective decision of stakeholders prompted his legal push, Alaibe should know better as a politician that such stakeholders whom are not prepared in any way to leave the PDP and will never work against the party are merely horse-trading.

These stakeholders in question will keep horse-trading until the ship is fully destroyed and the contraption can no longer function before they start singing a new song to his hearing. Having learnt from his experience at past elections, is Alaibe really ready for this long horse-trading? What will be the effect of this horse-trading on the party at a time like this?

Alaibe as an elder statesman should be more concerned about building a Bayelsa State along with Senator Diri Douye, where the vision of one industry in one local government in the state will be actualised.

The emphasis should be helping towards building key infrastructure that will move the people forward together and no one left behind. Alaibe should be concerned about supporting Douye in making Bayelsa a net exporter of fish, give special focus on youth and women empowerment, so, the state could reach greater height as anticipated.

Bringing investors to invest and turn the state to a tourism state and diversify from oil ought to be the direction Alaibe should be toeing with senator Diri Douye.

All said – all power belongs to God. Alaibe as a Christian should create a standard above this legal wilderness and the river between for goodness and prosperity sake.

–––Abanum wrote from Abuja.