Bayelsa : Douye Diri Takes Office Amidst Violence
….Jonathan Felicitates with new Governor
From Amos Okioma
Properties worth million of naira belonging to some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party have been destroyed and looted by irate and aggrieved supporters of APC’s David Lylon whose election was nullified by the Supreme Court.
Bayelsa’s state capital , Yenagoa and other local government areas were on Friday morning besieged by APC members who took to the streets to protest against the swearing in of the PDP governorship candidate,Senator Douye Diri as governor and Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo as his deputy.
Chanting ‘no APC, no government in Bayelsa state’, the protesters who carried APC flags in peaceful protest set protest fire along the major streets thereby disturbing and disrupting vehicular movements.
Most traders along the Mbiama – Yenagoa had their stores vandalized and looted, while some for fear of been affected were forced to close shops.
At the end of the protest , the private home of Senator Douye Diri, was destroyed and
cars parked had their windscreen smashed.
Close to his house, the irate APC members also destroyed a library and Institute belonging to Prof Steve Azaiki, a PDP member who represents Yenagoa /Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal constituency at the Federal House of Representatives.Computers and books were looted .
Also vandalized were the Seriake Dickson Shopping mall at Ekeki motor park, PDP secretariat and the state owned Radio Bayelsa were not spared.
The streets of Yenagoa were littered with broken bottles and shred of burnt tires.
The protest started Thursday evening along Tombia junction , while they assembled at APC Secretariat to commence the Friday protest which led to various destruction on the economy of the state.
Though no life was lost , no security presence was visible until they finished the peaceful protest when armoured tanks and hilux loaded with soldiers started to patrol the streets.
At the Government House gate , the protesters were unable to get access
due to heavy and tight security by the combined armed security men.
Though none of the protesters was ready to grant interview, their grouse may not be unconnected with the court ruling which nullified the election of David Lyon and directed that the PDP governor elect Senator Douye Diri who scored the next highest votes with geographical spread be sworn in as governor after been presented with certificate of returns by Independent Electoral Commission.
Recalled Bayelsa was agog and members of APC fully ready for the swearing of David Lyon as Governor of Bayelsa state who was informed of the sad event while he was rehearsing at the decorated Samson Siasia sport Complex.
Our correspondent also reported that all hotels were fully booked, caterers contacted and bails of customised clothes of David Lyon and his deputy senator Biobarakumo Degi – Eremenyo printed on were stocked at the party secretariat awaiting collection while some had collected and sewn theirs before the unfortunate news broke out which led to confusion among APC members and wild jubilation among PDP members across the state.
As at the time of sending this report ,the protesters had returned to the APC Secretariat with normalcy returned to the Yenagoa as the governor elect of the PDP senator Douye Diri and his deputy , senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo have been formaly .sworn in by the chief judge , Kate Abiri at a ceremony attended by immediate governor of Bayelsa stste, Seriake Dickson, Bauchi state governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, Oyo state Governor , Seyi Makinde, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state represented by chief Funkekeme Solomon , PDP National chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and other national assembly members from Bayelsa state and outside the state.
Speaking after taking the oath of office and allegiance , Governor Douye Diri urged Bayelsans to avoid bitterness, acrimony and hatred despite their political differences and embrace brotherliness and love.
He said his government is coming to promote love, unity, prosperity for all and sought for the prayers and cooperation of all to move the state forward.
He said “I have come to replace darkness with light, despair with hope, hatred with love, bitterness with joy”
Meanwhile,former president Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Douye Diri on his swearing-in as the executive governor of Bayelsa state.
Jonathan who took to his facebook account said, “I congratulate His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri who was sworn in today as the 5th Civilian Governor of Bayelsa State, in compliance with the Supreme court verdict of yesterday, 13th February 2020.
“As Governor, the responsibility of building hope and sustaining peace across the State now lies on your shoulders. I urge you to always bear in mind that you are the Governor of all Bayelsans and to seize this moment of glory to build bridges of unity by entrenching a culture of love, fairness and justice in our polity.
“Your journey to Creek Haven is a divine one, so I advise you to use the position to do good to humanity and pursue the development of the State in order to write your name in gold. You have worked with me before as a commissioner, so I am without doubt that you will live up to the expectations of our people.”
He called on all Bayelsans to be law-abiding, peaceful and embrace the transition in all sincerity, and work together towards a united and prosperous State.