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Bayelsa guber: PDP candidate, Diri rejects ‘Dickson’s stooge’ title

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the November 16 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has dismissed insinuations that he is a stooge of the outgoing governor, Seriake Dickson as totally false.

The governorship hopeful also underscored the need for peace in the rank of the 20 PDP aspirants he defeated to emerge the party’s flag bearer for the election.

Diri, who spoke in Abuja, insisted that the insinuation that he would be a stooge to cover up for the incumbent governor of state does not add up.

He said: “When people say you will be a stooge to cover up, I can tell you that there is practically nothing to cover up.

“The resources that came to the state were used for the development of the state.

“With what I saw and I participated in allocating to the ministries, departments and agencies in the state there is nothing to cover up for anybody.

“We sat together with the governor to allocate what comes to the state. There is nothing to cover up.”

He added that the question of being a stooge does not arise because he had always been a man of his own.

The PDP candidate noted that he would make education and further growth of the economy of the state the corner stone of his administration if elected.

Diri said that he would continue with education which Dickson made one of the policy thrust of his administration.

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He said: “If we are among the first five in education in the country, we will push to ensure that Bayelsa State becomes the first or second bests state in education in the country.”

He noted that he would build on the solid economic foundation laid by the outgoing administration in the state.

On how he emerged PDP candidate, Diri said that he was not really the winner but the party.

He appealed to 20 other aspirants who lost the primary election to join hands with him to deliver the state to PDP.

According to him: “No matter how bitter anybody may be, we should team up and join hands together to work for our party in the interest of the PDP and our state.”

The governorship candidate, who recognised that a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Ndutimi Alaibe “is a factor in the state” noted that they were reaching out to all stakeholders to calm frayed nerves.

Alaibe was one of the 21 PDP aspirants that contested the primary election

He said: “We are calling them, we are moving to them, we are also using their friends and brothers to appeal to them for us to work together. We are not there yet but I believe we will consolidate.”

He said that many of those who lost the primary election have assured that they would not go to another party.

“We are not there yet. We need to get the 20 of them for us to work together to win the election,” he said.

Talking specifically about Alaibe he said, “I worked with him for many years. Alaibe and I are from the same local government. We worked together. I agree with you that he is a factor.

“Everybody in the race was there to win. We are talking. We are engaging our brothers at home for us to work together.”

Diri noted: “If we have free and fair election APC will not win counsellorship election in Bayelsa State because APC is no where in the state.”

On his relationship with former President Goodluck Jonathan, he said that anybody could claim that the former president is with him.

For him, it is only at the point of voting that you know who is where.

To those who describe him as an underdog, he noted that people should not forget that he just won a senatorial election in the state.

He said: “I like when people underrate me. When people stay in Abuja and Port Harcourt and rant let them rant. I want to be an underdog but the election will decide who is underdog.”

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