…as Diri’s spokesman dismisses claims
Yenagoa—Ahead of the Bayelsa State’s gubernatorial primaries scheduled for next month, a group under the auspices of the Bayelsa Development Initiative (BDI), has raised the alarm over alleged desperate moves by the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, to destabilize the Labour Party (LP) ahead of the state’s governorship election
ThisDay newspaper reports that the group alleged that Diri was executing a similar plot in the All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that the governor was sponsoring a former loyalist of the Petroleum Minister for State, Mr. Timipre Sylva, to destabilize the party.
BDI had in a statement signed by its Secretary, Mr. Michael-Sam Rodamini, said it is investigations that revealed that stopping the LP in the forthcoming poll had become a momentous topic in the drawing board of the governor and his team.
Samuel said to actualise their mission, the governor recently assembled a dedicated group to work on the anti-LP project and voted huge financial war chest to activate and actualise their plot against the LP.
He said one of the mandates of the governor’s anti-LP team was to frustrate the governorship ambition of a former President, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, who had since purchased the LP’s governorship forms to challenge Diri at the poll.
Samuel said the intention is to stop the emergence of Eradiri as the governorship candidate of LP because of the sympathy he enjoys among the youths, women and other critical stakeholders in the state.
He said that at the moment Diri had already committed N100 million to the procurement of the governorship forms of the LP through a proxy identified as Joseph Waribagha.
He said: “Our findings reveal that Waribagha is a special adviser to Diri on protocol. Waribagha went to the LP and purchased four of the party’s forms sold at N25 million each.
“The SA Protocol paid a total of N100 million for the forms in three tranches. He paid N40 million directly from his account, N45 million and N15 million from the account of a company, whose identity we will disclose in due course.
“Having successfully purchased the forms, Diri and his team have started shopping for willing persons, who will pose as serious contenders for the LP governorship ticket.
“We understand that already one of the forms had been given to one Donald Daunimigha and another Hon. Ide Etimekezie. They are still shopping for two others.”
Samuel said that Diri’s recruits would only cause crisis, confusion and instability in LP while one of them would be railroaded to emerge as the party’s candidate only to step down for Diri before the election.
The BDI secretary accused Diri of being afraid of a fair democratic context, adding that the governor was working to emerge as the only candidate from a serious party for the governorship election the same way he silenced other aspirants from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to become its sole candidate without a competitive primary.
Samuel, who described Diri as a Supreme Court governor, said the ghost of the governor’s overwhelming loss in the last governorship election was still haunting him and magnifying his phobia for another impending defeat in an open fair contest.
Samuel warned the national leadership of the LP, especially its National Chairman, against destroying the emerging force of the party, which he said had been made popular through the Obi-dient Movement.
He said Diri was executing a similar plot in the All Progressives Congress (APC) saying the governor was sponsoring a former loyalist of the Petroleum Minister (state), Mr. Timipre Sylva, to destabilize the party.
Samuel alleged that Sylva’s former loyalist, who had already obtained the APC forms, agreed to act as a mole for Diri because of his opposition to Sylva’s governorship ambition.
But in a reaction to the allegation, the state government through the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the state government would rather not dignify with a response a man who makes all manner of baseless allegations just to seek attention and relevance at all times.
He said, “Let him deal with his issues and how to actualise his ambition on any political platform he chooses. The governor is not his problem and neither is he a member of his party. Governor Diri is a dyed-in-the-wool democrat and a loyal PDP member.”
The governor is focused on serious issues of governance in the state and not on pedestrian matters brought up by attention-seekers,” Alabrah was quoted to have said.