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First Term: Gov Diri Commends Legislature, Judiciary For Support

…Says Southern Ijaw People Resilient During Poll

Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has expressed appreciation to the legislature and judiciary in the state for their support in his first term, which ends on February 13.

Senator Diri and his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, will take a fresh oath of office on February 14.

Speaking during the monthly praise night at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House, Yenagoa, which was the last in the first term, the governor said without the support of the other two arms of government, his administration would not have recorded the modest achievements in the last four years.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, he also thanked clerics and the Christian community, members of his cabinet and people of the state for their unflinching support, saying he alone could not have achieved the successes so far.

Governor Diri also lauded the security agencies for their role in ensuring the state remained peaceful and for their professionalism during the November 11 governorship election in the state, which he won.

He expressed the optimism that Bayelsa will achieve greater success in his second term as his desire was for every nook and cranny of the state to feel the impact of government.

The state’s helmsman again gave the glory to God for his electoral victory, saying despite threats from the opposition, he prevailed.

He said: “As men, we did all we could but God who sees everything went ahead of us to straighten crooked paths. We live by His grace. Our prayer is that God would do more for us than He did in our first term so that every corner of our state will feel the impact.

“As we move toward February 14, I want to appreciate my cabinet. Our policies were well implemented and that is why we recorded some success. The love among members of the cabinet is worth commending too.

“I equally appreciate the legislature, which worked hand-in-gloves with me as well as the judiciary and our security agencies, which have done very well.

“We also appreciate the church as a whole. Your endorsement during the election meant so much to us and, indeed, God delivered us. Most people who worked with us were threatened but we prevailed and defeated gangsterism.”

Earlier, Governor Diri praised the resilience of the Southern Ijaw people, which resulted in victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 15 out of 17 wards in the local government area.

He gave the commendation when elders, leaders and stakeholders in the area led by the Southern Ijaw Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus chairman, Chief Talford Ongolo, paid him a solidarity and congratulatory visit in Government House, Yenagoa.

He expressed satisfaction with their peaceful and non-violent disposition during the election and thanked them for responding to his call not to engage in electoral violence.

Diri said that Southern Ijaw was susceptible to political unrest and election rigging but noted that under his administration the trend had changed not only in the area but also across the state.

“In spite of all the odds in Southern Ijaw, we still came tops. In every election, even if the margin is just by a simple majority, you have won. And this time around, the votes that came from Southern Ijaw were authentic and realistic.

“Some think that you need guns to lead people, which is not true. Somebody who does not have a gun could have all it takes to manoeuvre your gun and make it useless, like you people did in the last election.

“Those who had guns could not operate and you overcame them. At a point they said they were no longer contesting against PDP but the military. In actual sense, the military was there to protect the election process. So, I say a very big thank you to all of us from Southern Ijaw.”

The governor advised the leadership of the caucus to give room for emerging leaders to prove their capacity in politics and not blackmail them for selfish interests.

He also assured them that all ongoing projects in the area, especially the Yenagoa-Oporoma road and the bridge at Angiama community would be completed.

Speaking earlier, the caucus chairman, Chief Talford Ongolo, who was a former Speaker of the old Rivers State House of Assembly, said the visit was to felicitate with him in the new year and on his victory at the poll

Ongolo commended the governor for his exemplary leadership style that has endeared him to people of the state even in strongholds of the opposition.



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