Bayelsa PDP Stakeholders Forum has called on the Bayelsa State governor, Senator Douye Diri to take responsibility over his inability to manage members of the People’s Democratic Party in the state which has led to series of decamping being witnessed in the state in recent times.
The group in a statement made available to newsmen said, Following the defection of notable PDP leaders in Bayelsa state, governor Diri has stepped up propaganda and blackmail of his benefactor, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson who singlehandly sponsored all his elective positions and all the political appointments he has ever held.
The Group in a very strong statement has said that Diri who became Governor under very strenuous circumstances has not rewarded and stood by the people God used to make him Governor, instead he is living in a delusion that he is a miracle governor whose mandate was recovered through the court and not the efforts of the people who worked hard during the election and he betrays and humiliates them at every opportunity.
Governor Diri has followed it up by ditching all the people who helped him including his benefactor on whose shoulders he rose to become Governor.
The Group through it Spokesperson, Chief Abosimagha Pius Benson [/b]recalled that, [b]Diri before he came across Dickson had never won any election in his life, had never led a political group of his own, never had even one or two people believing in his cause and never dreamed that one day, he would ever contest and win House of reps, Senate and not to talk of the governorship of Bayelsa state. In fact, he never had money for all these elections.
Yet, immediately Governor Diri took over, he began to listen to sycophants and brought in all APC opponents that Dickson had suppressed and defeated in the state for his own sake to gain cheap popularity. In the name of reconciliation, Diri went to bring back all the people who fought him and called them opponents of Dickson and that he himself has no enemies.
The group in their statement wondered how a man who has not fought any political battle of his own would have had enemies in the first place. According to the group, Diri’s first duty could have been to recognize, reward and respect the people who labored to bring him to power. Those who spent all their money, burnt all the bridges they built over the years to invest confidence in him even when his own immediate family and local government didn’t support him. Nobody close to him ever supported him.
Since assuming office, the group says it has been one propaganda, one blackmail, one name calling after the other by Diri.
As the state is now getting 20 billion Naira in monthly allocation, he and his friends, family, relations and local government people are now swimming in money, building houses everywhere and other personal acquisitions with his Igbo friends. Now, Diri keeps quiet about this and still maintains the impression that there is no money and that he is paying huge debts when everybody knows that the former governor left Bayelsa as the least indebted state in the south.
In the just concluded PDP primaries, Diri and his sycophants stayed in the government house and took advantage of the absence of super delegates and statutory delegates to write all the names on the delegate list and then handpicked all the candidates from government house but still created a false impression and propaganda that he sought the consent of the former governor, whereas the former governor had already stated his position that competent people that can win elections should be selected by the Governor and the party stakeholders and that he had no preferred candidates.
The State Secretary of the party, Usowo who joined Diri from the APC, one Lucky Youbougha, a former henchman of Timbre Sylva and Diri’s cousin who also returned from the APC and one Collins Kokodia, his SA Political Affairs publicly boasted and celebrated that they had succeeded in weeding out Dickson’s people from the party.
From day one that he took over, Diri promoted the dichotomy of Diri boys vs Dickson boys. Restoration Government vs prosperity government whereas he is the chief beneficiary of the Restoration government and he is the number one Dickson boy. This has made the entire state angry.
He has clearly outsourced governance and leadership of the party to charlatans and inexperienced people and listens only to gossip, praise, insult of other people particularly his predecessor to the extent that people now know that before you can get any favor from him, you have to criticize the previous government and praise him. The state chairman of the party, the deputy Governor have all suffered humiliation and have been completely sidelined and insulted daily by Diri’s people to his delight by their subordinates.
There have been only 3 decampings and to show his inexperience, instead of Diri to engage these people who were his colleagues in the previous government and worked for his emergence, Diri has abandoned everybody and allowed people to say he’s a governor and whatever he wants must happen without realizing that he’s only a first term Governor.
It is a well known fact that Bayelsa politicians decamp easily. Diri should know that when the former governor was holding sway, he managed series of decamping both in his re-election and in Diri’s election yet the former governor never called anybody out, never accused anybody and never fought anybody. Instead, He engaged and kept engaging stakeholders until he left office. This is what Governor Diri should learn to do. No governor witnessed greater decamping at critical election time than the former governor. When his deputy governor, commissioners, National Assembly members and top political leaders were decamping to the opposition party.
The group is surprised that Diri at 64 is the oldest person to be Governor of Bayelsa and yet his understanding of government, governance, politics and management of people is infantile and unstable. Bayelsa has now gone back fully to the days of a government of an inexperienced cabal of family, wives and siblings that will be taking government decisions and so many indeterminate power centers running across purpose at times.
They are clearly having a field day manipulating and deciding for the Governor including his imported non Bayelsa friends who are happy that the man who fought and brought him to power has left the scene for them to manipulate the government and the state as they want. It is on record that Governor Dickson has never visited Bayelsa Government house since he left office, hardly visits Yenegoa and does not interfere with Diri’s government and makes no demands from the Governor.
Diri has spent the better part of his 3 years in office spreading lies, propaganda and incitement of the people against Former Governor Dickson and trying to get Dickson’s supporters to turn against him and his legacy as a way of building his own people when Governor Dickson has already handed everyone to him and is also available to advise and support him.
So what is Diri’s problem with a man like former Governor Dickson behind him? Who is respected by all and dreaded by the opposition? It’s time for the Governor to have a deep introspection. It’s also time for his family and his local government who are having a Governor for the first time to also sit down with him. If they do so, they will discover that Diri’s problems is not further than Diri himself and he should stop the blame game.
How many Bayelsans are happy that an Igbo man called Africa from Anambra state who is a former colleague of the Governor in the house of reps and a certain Akpe are the defacto Governors of Bayelsa state. The said Africa must approve of every action the governor takes and whoever wants anything must go through him or Akpe, the deputy chief of staff.
Are Bayelsa people not really worried about the state of mind of the Governor as stated in a recent radio interview by Timipre Sylva who said clearly that he’s convinced that something is wrong with the Governor’s mental state? Are we sure that the Governor is not being held hostage by occultic forces spearheaded by the said Africa and others?
Now defections are taking place across the country at every level and nobody in those states are being called or blackmailed. He should rise up and face his duty as Governor and leader of the party in Bayelsa state and stop always painting himself as the victim and curring sympathy or as the only good man, It is very clear to all now close to 3 years that the man is not prepared for this level of work and maybe he thought Governorship is bed of roses of billions of free money to be squandered every month. He does not know that he was not elected to be portrayed as a good man but as a leader addressing and solving the problems and managing the people.
The group also finds it childish, nauseating and insulting to their intelligence each time the Governor and his people struggle to be part of the credit for the international airport which his predecessor suffered to build or the backbreaking work done on the Sagbama Ekeremor road and the central road which has gone beyond Egeibiri and the road that is being used to go to Diri mother’s village in Ekeremor long before he became Governor; and several other projects.
The group also condemns Diri’s abandonment of educational and healthcare facilities particularly the Bayelsa Diagnostic Centre. If you hear anything from the government house, it is usually either a lie or blame shifting, never taking responsibility.
Other governors manage short fall of allocations, economic recessions, financial challenges and insecurity without excuses and still pay salaries and build infrastructure without complaining. They face defections without calling anyone.
The group advised that Diri should face the business of being the political leader of the party as these are the challenges that comes with being Governor and leader of the party.