Emma Onugwe in Yenogoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said his victory at the Supreme Court is attributable to God and the prayers of Bayelsans.
The apex court had dismissed the case filed by Chief Timi Alaibe challenging Diri’s victory at the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election on September 3, 2019.
Diri, who got a tumultuous reception upon his arrival in Yenagoa on Thursday night, said the demonstration of love and support by Bayelsans was overwhelming and heart-warming.
In a statement by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Dan Alabrah, Diri was joined by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Speaker of the House of Assembly and other legislators, top government functionaries, PDP stalwarts among others for a victory thanksgiving service at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House, Yenagoa.
He expressed gratitude to the people of the state for their support and encouragement, adding that he never expected the display of love and warm reception when he arrived in the state as late as 9pm.
His words: “I never expected this kind of reception. As late as the time I arrived, people were still at the entrance into Bayelsa and up to the Government House gate. And the shocker I had was inside of this chapel. This victory is not mine. You are the owners of this victory.”
Diri, who acknowledged the role of God in his emergence as governor, also applauded the Supreme Court Justices for their uprightness and courage in upholding justice in dispensing their duties.
“I want to use this opportunity to appreciate the Supreme Court Justices for their display of integrity. This judgement has shown to the whole world that indeed the apex court is the last hope for the common man.”
He called on all Bayelsans, including Chief Timi Alaibe and his other opponents to join hands with his administration to build the state, noting that Bayelsa had lots of potential waiting to be harnessed.
He said: “There is so much for us as a state. As I keep saying, the only way this state can grow is when we free our minds from acrimony, hatred and covetousness.
“Bayelsa is still one state. But let us realise that power only comes from God. Whatever it is that has angered anyone, let us sheathe the sword in the interest of the state.
“Let us shun hatred and embrace love. That is only when Bayelsa can move forward. This victory is not mine. It is for all Bayelsans who have been praying with us.”
Speaking to journalists after the service, Diri said he would soon constitute his cabinet and put governance on track having dispensed with his major court case.
He expressed regret over the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said had stalled governance and socio-economic activities globally.
According to the governor, when his cabinet is set up, the government will place a premium on the development of trade, industry, investment and small and medium scale enterprises in order to empower the people and boost the local economy.
In his brief exhortation, the General Overseer of the Royal House of Grace International Church, Apostle David Zilly Aggrey, said the mystery behind the emergence of Diri as governor could only be the handiwork of God and divine favour upon him.
Aggrey, who expressed optimism that such divine favour would impact on all Bayelsans, prayed God to grant the governor, his deputy and their team wisdom and capacity to steer the ship of state to an enviable height.