With the emergence of Senator Douye Diri as gubernatorial candidate of the PDP for the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State, either Chief Timipre Sylva, David Lyon of the APC will face the governor at the polls.
Although, apart from Sylva and Lyon, there are four others who will be contending for the party’s ticket when they meet for the primaries this weekend in Yenagoa.
They include Ogbomade Isikima Johnson, Prof. Ongoebi Etebu Maureen, Festus Daumiebi Sunday and Joshua Maciver. But the contest appears to be between Sylva and Lyon.
Already, the PDP has brought out its candidate-Diri. He will be waiting to see whoever the APC will sponsor. The PDP primary was transparently peaceful, as there was only one aspirant in contention.
Despite Diri being the only aspirant, all the delegates from the eight local governments still queued to vote for him in line with the Electoral Act. A total of 313 delegates were accredited to vote, while Diri got 305 valid votes to emerge the party’s candidate.
The primary election was supervised by a national delegation of the party led by the dancing governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adelekewho arrived the state on Tuesday displaying some dance steps even as he was alighting from the plane.
In his remarks before the exercise, Adeleke had called for a peaceful conduct of the process in accordance with the party’s constitution and relevant provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to him, Bayelsa was a PDP state and enjoined members to ensure that it remains so by electing Diri again. He said: “Bayelsa is a PDP state. We must make sure it remains so in the coming election. We have to join hands together and make sure the governor retains his seat by the special grace of God.”
In his acceptance speech, Diri expressed gratitude to the delegates and the party for giving him the ticket to contest for a second term in office.
He described the process as unprecedented in the history of the state as he was returned unopposed, noting that once a candidate was given the party’s ticket it was as good as winning the election since Bayelsa is dominantly a PDP state.
While appreciating the support of the people, particularly the delegates, the governor commended the process, stating that even when the state had best performing governors, they had to contend with other aspirants.
“Whereas, in an unprecedented turn of events, I was the sole aspirant who picked the nomination and expression of interest forms to contest on the platform of our great party as its flagbearer in the November 2023 governorship election.
“It is, therefore, with utmost joy and profound gratitude I accept your kind endorsement of the process. I am truly humbled by your confidence in me to seek a second term to continue building the human and physical bridges that will lead us to the shared prosperity that our founding fathers envisaged for our people.
“Today is the beginning of an end; the culmination of the start of the process that, hopefully, by the grace of God and the will of the good people of Bayelsa State, will lead us back to Creek Haven for a second tenure.
“But what we have done today is only the necessary first steps in a long and hard journey before we will arrive at our desired destination.” A total of eight votes were declared invalid.