March 7, 2021

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Challenge Before New Bayelsa Governor

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Last Friday, Senator Douye Diri took his oath of office to signal the beginning of his first four year term as governor of Bayelsa State. It was the first time since the advent of the current democratic experiment, that one governor would complete two terms and hand over to another, in the state.
Before Friday’s swearing in, Diri was not sure of what was to come. David Lyon, the APC candidate during last November’s election, who had been declared winner by INEC, was the man of the moment, until last Thursday, when the Supreme Court sacked him and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.
That perhaps informs why, more than 48 hours after his inauguration, Diri is yet to announce any appointment. He is said to be consulting widely before naming, for example, the secretary to the state government, chief press secretary, chief of staff et cetera.
A few hours after he got his certificate of return, Diri was said to have visited former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, where they were said to have discussed critical issues on the take-off of his government.
The impression is that Diri would want to seek Jonathan’s advice on the choice of his SSG, a position that is believed to have been zoned to Ogbia/Nembe.
Diri is also reported to have sought the cooperation of the APC and its chieftains. Specifically, he wants the APC leader, Chief Timipre Sylva and Lyon to work with him.
Laudable as these steps look, it is also important to note that media statements are quite different from statements made during visits. For example, it would have made much more sense if Diri had tried to pay a visit to Sylva and Lyon, as that would have shown his seriousness in getting the APC chieftains to support and work with his government.
Although, there are indications that Diri may be facing some tough battles ahead, from the APC chieftains who have already given signals that they would return to the apex court to get their mandate restored, and then from another member of the PDP, Chief Timi Alaibe, who is reported to have made moves to ensure that he got justice on the pre-election case he filed against Diri, over the conduct of the primaries that produced him as candidate of the party.
We believe that Diri has a lot of battles ahead. And if the reported prophecies on the duration of his government is anything to go by, then he has a lot to bother about. And what that means is that it will take him sometime to settle down to work.
It is our view therefore, that he should make the best of everyday that he has to spend in office as governor, considering the plethora of cases against him. He needs to make haste and visit all critical stakeholders in the state, with a view to getting counsel on what to do at this time. He also needs to make the appointment of those individuals that will enhance the early take-off of his government. He just must do more work than talking.

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