Diri: Why I Visited Jonathan After My Inauguration

Douye Diri 

Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The new governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has explained that his visit to former President Goodluck Jonathan in his Nikton, Yenagoa home immediately after his (Diri’s) inauguration was part of his plan to calm frayed nerves in the state.

Diri who acknowledged that there was too much anger and bitterness in the state especially resulting from the November 16 governorship election, explained that his resolve was to ensure that all stakeholders are carried along in the governance of Bayelsa.
He said that his visit to the former president was the first step in the reconciliatory process, noting that he would soon be visiting elders and leaders of the state in furtherance of his effort to unite the state.
Diri’s emergence in the PDP primaries in September had created a wedge between Jonathan, who was in support of Mr Timi Alaibe, on the one hand and Diri himself and former Governor Seriake Dickson on the other.
The Supreme Court had ruled on Thursday that Lyon’s, Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Ereminyo, submitted forged documents which made them unqualified to contest the state’s governorship election in which the electoral body declared them winners.

In compliance with the judgment, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Friday issued a certificate of return to the PDP candidate, who was later sworn in.
Speaking after the private meeting with Jonathan, Diri described Jonathan as a father and a mentor who deserved to be treated as such.

“It wasn’t a formal meeting, but we have come to see our father and our mentor to pledge our allegiance to his excellency the former president. Recall that while he was governor, I was Commisioner for sports. So, we have had a very long relationship before now.

“As I keep saying that our state has too much of bitterness and acrimony. And so we have to show love, we have to reconcile. We need to cement relationships. We have to rebuild relationships. And that’s what myself and my deputy have set out to do.

“We need an agenda that will bring Bayelsa people together, unite them as one people who will pursue the development of Bayelsa as one people, whether in PDP, APC or any other political party” he said