A group under the auspices of the Prosperity Vanguard (PV) has debunked all the allegations against the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Stakeholders Forum (PSF), another group working for former Governor Seriake Dickson.
The PV, in a statement signed on Thursday by its Leader, Daniel Amansintei, said the former governor, now a Senator representing Bayelsa West, unleashed his attack dogs on Diri because he was envious of the rising political profile of the incumbent governor.
Amansintei said those hanging around Dickson were angry that Diri took the bold steps to unify the state, which he said Dickson polarised across ethnic divides of core Ijaw and non core Ijaw.
He recalled how the entire state celebrated the exit of Dickson with a song, “King Saul has gone home”, because of his tyrannical approach to governance, but said Diri evolved a new leadership style that has united the state even across political divides.
Amansintei said the recent defections of Dickson’s men was propelled by their failures at the primary elections following the decision of Diri that the era of imposing candidates on the people was over.
He said: “Another thing that is angering Senator Seriake Dickson is the rising profile of Governor Diri, who within his short stay in office has accomplished so much that has endeared him to the people of Bayelsa and outside the state.
“We have long realized that those so-called defectors are prompted by unimaginable political ego trip at the instance of a self-styled political godfather that promised them automatic tickets.
“Interestingly, they forgot that the era of political decisions by one strongman as against strongmen has expired. Their defection has absolutely nothing to do with lack of capacity to manage the party but rather their illusionary belief in the power of one-man’s capacity to move a mountain for them.
“Their defection is in furtherance of their belief that he has the magic wand to make them win in his newfound Social Democratic Party (SDP). We want to use this opportunity to request them to come back to their home base because when they fail, the man will abandon them”.
He said members of the PSF were behaving like their ungrateful paymaster, who was rescued from penury by former President Goodluck Jonathan and King A.J. but later turned his benefactors to his enemies.
He said: “Our Miracle Governor has demonstrated himself to be a unifying factor for the peace and development of the state and managed such a complicated character of godfather to a point that his close associates and friends are beginning to ask if there was a vow between the two of them.
“Governor Diri has maintained a sense of equanimity. It is therefore laughable to tag Senator Douye Diri’s administration as one of sycophancy, nepotism, cabal and non-native dominated. It is like charcoal calling a kettle black.
“How can those who masterminded and supervised all the above with impunity shamelessly accuse a fine minded gentleman like Governor Diri of cronyism. It was during their era that all known civil and public service rules were jettisoned to promote their brothers, sisters, friends and relations from grade level 12 and 13 to the position of permanent secretaries”. Amansintei said Diri had proved himself a listener, who only took decisions in the best interest of the state adding that the governor had continued with projects abandoned by his predecessor.
He said: “It is absurd to say that Diri has abandoned educational and health facilities. Every discerning mind following the positive narrative of the government can attest to the giant strides of the Prosperity Government in areas of education and health care.
“The Diagnostic Centre is in the present state because it is encumbered by dubious and spurious claims, demands and court cases by the original Sagbama landlords and their surrogates.
“Diri had won elections and held political offices even before the emergence of Senator Seriake Dickson as Governor of Bayelsa State. Recall that Senator Diri won an election as Organizing Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress (INC). He was a Director, Centre for Youth Development and Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development amongst others”.
Amansintei said the claims that Diri abandoned Dickson and other defectors were not true, observing that most appointees in the current administration served under Dickson.
He said: “The immediate past governor has also in different occasions declared how good Diri has been to him and his family. The spread of Diri’s appointments and open mindedness are visible to all, very much unlike the previous administration which gave all juicy appointments to a particular LGA, family and in-laws. Remember facts are sacred.
“The circumstances of the emergence of Douye Diri as Governor necessitated the name ‘Miracle Governor’ just as some people used to call themselves ‘Valentine Governor’. There can indeed be no miracle bigger than Douye Diri’s emergence and that glory cannot be shared with any mortal but the God almighty, the author and giver of power”.
He said it was laughable to allege that Diri had abandoned his Deputy and wondered how a deputy governor that chaired appointment committees, party primary committee and with no approval limit could be said to have been relegated to the background.
He said: “Allow Douye Diri to serve the state, he is not in office to serve the interest of an individual or group of persons. The state remains his primary constituency.
“Douye Diri like every other human being is entitled to have friends from within and outside the state or country. Diri’s friend, one Mr. Africa does not even hold a political office in this state. Let us be reminded that Bayelsa has given political appointments to people from other states before. One of such appointees was later sponsored even to the House of Representatives.
“The story that Douye Diri was a poor man, and he is only what he is today because of the benevolence of one man is also laughable and untrue. May we even ask, who amongst us was born Commissioner, Senator, Governor among others? We are what we are today by the grace of God and the contributions of human beings. Douye Diri is therefore not an exception.”