APC to PDP: Diri is illegitimate governor

*Party accuses governor of collecting N2.9bn loan to buy vehicles

The Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the state Governor, Senator Douye Diri as illegitimate.

The party also accused Diri of obtaining N2.9bn loans to buy operational vehicles for himself, his deputy and other principal government officers in less than three weeks as a governor.

The APC spoke while reacting to the verbal attacks on the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP in a statement credited to its state Secretary, Godspower Keku, claimed that Sylva and Oshiomhole facilitated their electoral victory at the court by foisting Senator Degi Erimienyo as the running mate to Chief David Lyon.

Keku in the statement condemned Sylva for his criticism of the Supreme Court judgement, which voided the governorship victory of the APC.

PDP also accused Sylva of “foisting extreme violence on Bayelsans and Bayelsa since 2015”, claiming that  Sylva was responsible for the pockets of violence in Yenagoa and Abuja following the sacking of the Governor-Elect, Chief David Lyon.

But the APC in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Doifie Buokoribo described the PDP’s position as irresponsible, petty and provocative.

He said it was a clear fact that the PDP was occupying the Bayelsa Government House illegitimately as the party did not win the governorship election held on 16 November 2019.

He said the APC was overwhelmingly elected by the people until the Supreme Court of Nigeria ignored the electorate, constituted itself the voters and imposed another person as governor against all democratic norms.

He said: “Legally, Douye Diri is governor of Bayelsa State, but in the hearts and minds of our people, he is illegitimate. He was not the one they voted for. He will bear the burden of illegitimacy throughout his tenancy at Creek Haven, Government House, Yenagoa.

“This is a judgement without justice; this is a judgement without legitimacy. Yes. Even though we are bound by the judgement as a legal entity, our party does not consider the action of the Supreme Court as fair or just.

“As citizens, we have the right to critique the decision of the apex court. Nobody or institution, not even the governor imposed on us by the Supreme Court or his party, can deny us that right”.

He said Sylva had already disclaimed and denounced the recent protests that took place in Yenagoa and Abuja after the Supreme Court judgement of 13 February 2020.

He said: “In the specific case of Bayelsa State, we have said it time and again that it was the PDP Government under Governor Henry Seriake Dickson that ran a regime of heist, violence and lawlessness since 2012. APC and its supporters were, at all times, the victims.

“His puppet, ‘Governor Dickson II’, otherwise known as Senator Douye Diri, has not shown any sign that he will not continue with the regime of lawlessness and grand larceny. Clearly, the PDP statement under review points to the truth in our position.

“Another confirmation of our position is the decision of Senator Diri to take a bank loan of N2.9bn for the purpose of buying “operational vehicles for the governor, his deputy and other top government functionaries.

“Coming less than three weeks as governor, this move is scandalous, unsympathetic and ungodly. Sadly, the Bayelsa State House of Assembly has approved the loan request.

“Diri is taking the loan at a time when civil servants and pensioners in the state have not been paid. This is a continuation of the frivolities of the PDP government of Dickson; a major reason the people of the state roundly rejected them at the poll.

“Unfortunately, Bayelsa State is in for another long haul under an illegitimate regime that does not feel any sense of commitment to the welfare and sensibilities of the people.

“This cannot be the government that the people of Bayelsa State deserve. It cannot be the government the people voted for”.

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