Dickson’s man, Diri, wins PDP governorship primary

Senator Douye Diri, winner of PDP governor primary in Bayelsa
Senator Douye Diri, winner of PDP governor primary in Bayelsa

Douye Diri, a senator representing Bayelsa Central, has won the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in Bayelsa State.

The primary, conducted in Yenagoa on Tuesday night, spilled over to Wednesday morning.

Mr Diri, 60, enjoyed the support of the Bayelsa governor, Seriake Dickson, and his Restoration Team, an influential bloc within the PDP in the state.

The senator scored 561 votes, while his major rival in the primary, Timi Alaibe, scored 365 votes.

Mr Alagbe, a former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), had the support of the former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The deputy governor of Bayelsa, Gboribiogha Jonah, who was among the 21 governorship aspirants, scored 62 votes.

Mr Diri, before his election in 2019 as a senator, served as a member of the House of Representatives.

He had been a commissioner for youth and sports in the state, when the former president, Mr Jonathan, was governor of Bayelsa.

Apart from politics, Mr Diri has been a teacher and a businessman.

“Let me state clearly that I do not have any inordinate ambition. I was only motivated into joining the governorship race in order to build on the monumental achievements of Dickson.

“For me, it has been service all my life; service to the Ijaw ethnic nationality; service to my state; service to humanity,” the senator said while declaring his interest for the governorship of the state.

“Please let me put this very clear; I don’t know of anybody called a kingmaker in the state. PDP in the state is one under the leadership of the governor,” he had said further.

Mr Alaibe, before the primary, alleged there were plots to undermine the electoral process.

“They have failed this time around because no degree of intrigues, no amount of manipulation and propaganda can push me out of this race. Nothing will change my decision to lift the lot of our people through purposeful leadership. I am here to stay and together we will win.

“While winning to us is not a do or die affair, the process of choosing the party flag bearer should be made unquestionably transparent such that in the end, the outcome would be acceptable to all so that we could stand as one to face the real opponent,” Mr Alaibe had said, while protesting the conduct of the PDP ward congress in the state last week.

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