Sampou—Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has described as untrue insinuations in certain quarters that he intends to drop his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, in his re-election bid.
Speaking at his country home, Sampou, in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state when he played host to the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Seriake Dickson, Governor Diri said such rumours were baseless.
He stressed that his deputy has contributed significantly to the success of his administration and it will be unthinkable to drop him.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying that the Diri/Ewhrudjakpo ticket was a divine project, which God used his predecessor, Senator Dickson, to make a reality.
Diri, who received Dickson in company of his wife, Dr Gloria Diri, traditional rulers, and leaders of thought from Kolokuma/Opokuma, restated his appreciation to his predecessor for his role in his emergence as governor of the state, saying himself and the people of Kolokuma/Opokuma will forever be grateful to him.
He also stated that Dickson laid a solid foundation upon which his administration is building and promised not to derail.
The state’s helmsman remarked that as a human he is not perfect and appealed to leaders and the people of the state to support him to enable him to deliver the much-needed development.
His words: “We went to Toru-Orua for a Christmas and thank-you visit last week. There are certain things you do for a man and he will thank you until his death and that is what Senator Dickson has done. We never expected that our brother and friend, who has done this great thing, will also visit again today. You did not owe us this.
“On behalf of the kings and people of Kolokuma/Opokuma, we again express our gratitude to you. We are very grateful. God will always use a human and He used you to ensure that a Kolokuma son was picked as governor.
“The ticket was divine otherwise we will not be here. Even if I speak until night, it cannot express the gratitude in our hearts.
“Whatever success we are recording today is because you laid a solid foundation. Most of the projects we execute today, you started them and I think that is the beauty of continuity in government.
“If the other party came in and abandoned them, it is the state that will suffer. We are happy that we have carried on most of the projects you left for us.
“Let me also state this to clear the air. My deputy has worked very well and nobody told me to refer to him as workaholic and resourceful. Our pairing is a divine arrangement.
“There are stories making the rounds to the effect that I will no longer use the deputy governor. That is a lie. My deputy will still be my running mate for our re-election. When you build a house, you do not destroy it.”
Earlier, Dickson said he was in Sampou on a new year visit to deepen the relationship between him and the governor, assuring that the success of the current prosperity administration remained his priority.
He said Diri deserves all the honour and support he can get to move the state forward.
The former governor, who is the Senator representing Bayelsa West in the Senate, prayed to God to grant Diri wisdom to pilot the affairs of the state for eight years as he did.
He said: “Today, I and these leaders came to wish you, your family. your people and your government compliments of the season.
“Some days ago, you led officials of your government to pay a Christmas visit to me. As it has become our tradition, I asked for a date to reciprocate and today we are here to wish you a prosperous new year in Jesus name.
“It is not a political visit; it is fraternal. You are the governor of our state and it is right and proper that we give you all the support and honour you need.
“Christmas and the new year are periods when people show brotherly love. How you fight a brother is different from how you fight an enemy. I pray for God’s guidance upon you.”