February 28, 2021

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Now That Douye Diri is On The Saddle

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On November 16, 2019, the people of Bayelsa State trooped to their respective polling units to elect a new governor to succeed Mr. Henry Seriake Dickson whose second term was to end on February 14, 2020. The electorate, indeed, voted massively for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief David Lyon and he was declared winner and issued a certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC).
There was jubilation in all parts of the state as David Lyon was generally adjudged as to have won the governorship election by popular votes.
After the election had been won and lost, both the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the APC set up their respective transition committees to work out the modalities for a successful hanging over from an incumbent government to the opposition for the first time in the history of Bayelsa State. The committees immediately swung into action to ensure a successful inauguration of the fifth civilian governor of the state.
While preparations were in top gears for the epic event, there was a subsisting pre-election legal action instituted by the PDP against the running mate to the APC governorship candidate, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo who later became deputy governor-elect. The case bothered on multiplicity of names in his certificates. That case later became the sledgehammer that broke the heart of the APC on February 13, when all arrangements had been put in place for the inauguration ceremony.
The then governor-elect, had done all necessary rehearsals for the occasion that was to hold in less than twenty-hours and was being conducted round the Government House by Dickson when the news broke that the Supreme Court had sacked him because his deputy presented irregular certificates to INEC. The apex court therefore declared Diri, who scored the second highest votes at the polls be issued a certificate of return and be sworn-in along side his running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo on February 14, 2020.
Consequent upon the Supreme Court ruling, violence spontaneously erupted in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, leading to the destruction of property worth millions of naira. Left with no other option, the police had to place an eight p.m to 6 a.m curfew to restore law and order within the Yenagoa metropolis.
Not satisfied with the Supreme Court ruling, the All Progressives Congress had to re-aproach the apex court to review the case and set aside the earlier judgement that sacked David Lyon and Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo. But the final court of the land stood its ground and reaffirmed its earlier judgement. The court, in her ruling, reasoned that there must be an end to every court case and that it would not condone a situation where those who have lost elections at the supreme court would still be hoping that a miracle could still occur. The court described the case of review brought to it by the APC as vexatious, frivolous and an abuse of court process.
We are of the view that no matter how tortuous a legal battle may be, it should have an end. This is why we commend the leadership of the APC in Bayelsa state for accepting the final ruling by the apex court and urging Bayelsans to be calm, law abiding and move on with their lives and normal businesses. We also commend Chief David Lyon for his show of maturity.
On the other hand, Diri, who has recognized that power only comes from God and described himself as a ‘miracle governor’, should be magnanimous in victory. If he wants to succeed and write his name in the book of Bayelsa’s great leaders, he should not harbor any molecule of politics of vendetta. Rather, he should see all Bayelsans as one and deal with them accordingly. We commend governor Diri for accepting, during his inaugural address, to work with all Bayelsans irrespective of political affiliations. We urge him to match his words with necessary actions for the development of the state.
We also call on aggrieved persons, especially the political class and Bayelsans in general to consider the interest of the state far above their parochial interests. Together, Bayelsa can be greater under the leadership of Diri and Ewhrudjakpo.

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