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|Douye Diri @61: Cheers To The Miracle Governor by ghbjlkji(m): 3:34pm On Jun 04, 2020|
By Reginald Tobin
There can't be any better way to see the emergence of His Excellency, Governor Douye Diri, as 5th executive governor of Bayelsa State than a “miracle”. Following the result as announced by INEC, governor Douye Diri was badly defeated during the November 16th governorship election in Bayelsa State, winning only two out of the eight local government areas of the state. A man who may have lost hope in becoming the state governor and was ready to face his old job as the senator representing Bayelsa central senatorial district in the National Assembly.
It came as a surprise to everyone in Bayelsa, I think even to Governor Diri himself, that on 13th February 2020, just some hours before the swearing in of Chief David Lyon, the man who had given him heavy blows during the election to emerge governor elect, was a Supreme Court ruling disqualifing Senator Biobarakuma Degi, the running mate to David Lyon who had also become the deputy governor elect.
The disqualification came from the side of Lyon's deputy, but since it was a joint ticket, Lyon was affected and all hopes of him becoming governor of the state came to a sad end.
Following governor Diri's heavy loss during the election, as he could only win two local governments out of eight, the argument of Governor Diri meeting the required vote spread to become the next man as stated in the judgment and in the electoral act, sprang up among various people in the state.
However, on 14th February 2020, the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) put that argument to rest as the Commission issued a certificate of return to Governor Diri and his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewrhujakpo. Governor Diri and his deputy also took the oath of allegiance to serve as governor and deputy on the same day. It all happened like a miracle, didn't it? in this regard, the title “miracle governor” was given.
Having been disqualified by the Supreme Court, the APC in Bayelsa State decided to challenge the ruling of Justice Mary Odili, by seeking a review of the earlier judgment, but it still didn't change anything, as their attempt ended in futility and was thrown out. It had come to the final end for the APC in Bayelsa State and David Lyon.
After the swearing in of governor Diri, he was under scrutiny by the people, especially by members of the main opposition party in the state who were watching out for loopholes to criticize the governor. But governor Diri was quietly doing well, especially in the civil service as he started clearing backlog pensions owed by his predecessors. He has also made sure civil servants in the state receive salary alert when due.
Due to the governors consistency in the payment of salaries and pension, the narrative about him began to change. Those who earlier criticized his candidature because of their perceptions that he would become a stooge to his principal, the immediate past governor of the state, saw a different man.
Governor Diri, in a meeting with traditional rulers in state had said that pensions had not been payed since 2008 and this is not good for a state like Bayelsa which depends heavily on civil service salary and retirement benefits for retirees.
The governor's seriousness in paying pensioners speaks volume of a man who cares about the elderly in the state who have worked and deserve to enjoy the benefits of their labour. The governor also said that he has an old father who is also a pensioner, therefore he cannot allow them suffer. The governor in that meeting also spoke about an old retiree who received his pension of over 2million naira and thought the money was paid into a wrong account as he never believed he could eat his pension while alive.
That is to say that governor Diri's emergence is also a miracle for pensioners and workers in the state or you can choose to say God has remembered them by sending Governor Diri their way. Imagine people who have not received pension since 2008, suddenly receiving it in bulk after twelve years, It really is a miracle.
But that is not all, as the governor has also demonstrated true leadership in the fight against the sudden coronavirus pandemic which hit the grounds of Nigeria in February. The governor with wisdom, leadership, team work and maturity had fought the disease to see that Bayelsa records one of the fewest cases in Nigeria. All these, the governor did quietly without making so much noise like his counterparts in other states.
Governor Diri, has also rolled out some miraculous plans for Bayelsa State, one of which include the construction of a flyover at the Tombia area of Yenagoa, the state's capital. A standard flyover which will justify the true meaning of what is called a “flyover” and the first of its kind in the state, among other things he has started and plans to finish soon.
Not long ago, governor Diri marked his first 100 days in office, and all of these that he has achieved within the short period is undoubtedly a clear sign that he has come to bring development to the state.
The governor has however impressed the people of Bayelsa state and has gained the respect of Bayelsans and Nigerians, as they now believe that he has not come as a figure head that will only take instructions from the immediate past governor, but to govern the people.
With a good start, we all believe that governor Diri will continue in his exceptional style of leadership for the good of Bayelsa State.
Truly, there is no better way to celebrate 61 as governor Diri clocks this sweet age in a miraculous time of his life.
Reginald Tobin is a student and writer from Bayelsa State.
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