The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has said the majority ruling by the Governorship election petition tribunal nullifying the November 16th governorship election and ordering a fresh election within 90 days over a petition filed by the Advance Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) will not stop the wheel of governance in the State.
Governor Diri, who acknowledge that though the legal fireworks had not ended over the nullification, the verdict of the election petition tribunal is an inspiration to forge ahead with governance undeterred and that the state is already in motion and we are not going back.
Governor Douye Diri, who made this known on Monday evening during a call on him by the delegation of State Assembly members led by the Speaker, Rt.Hon. Abraham Ingobere, and accompanied by the House of Representatives member representing the Ogbia Federal Constituency, Fred Obua, said the tribunal judgement, which had a dissenting ruling by its chairman, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, was not enough to slow the wheel of governance, and thanked the legislators for their show of solidarity.
According to him, “It actually encouraged me. It gave me the strength and hope that we have a brighter tomorrow, and that we have an assembly that cares. Let me use this opportunity to call on Bayelsans to be calm as nobody has removed the governor. This is the court of first instance and we respect the judiciary. The judiciary is there for the common man and we believe that justice would be done”.
“Even this judgement is not unanimous. The chairman of the tribunal said the judgement by the other two Judges was not correct and he has read his own, saying what they did was wrong. He said as far as he was concerned, the governor remained validly elected.”
Diri urged the State Assembly members to go ahead with the screening of his Commissioner-nominees today (Wednesday), saying he would swear them in after the exercise, “I hear you are having some august visitors on Tuesday, August 18. Go ahead and perform your legislative duties by screening them, and I will swear them in as commissioners. The state is already in motion and we are not going back,”.
Earlier, the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House Assembly, Rt.Hon. Abraham Ingobere said on receipt of the news of the Tribunal nullification of the State Governorship election on Monday, the House suspended its plenary.
He emphasized that as a God-fearing leader, the assembly would stand solidly behind the governor because he had proved that he had the interest of Bayelsans at heart, “Your Excellency, the House is solidly behind you and we believe strongly that it is the Supreme Court that will give the final judgement on what happened today(Monday)”.
“The world is aware of how elections were conducted in a volatile situation and where the opposition party caused crisis that claimed the lives of Bayelsans. But we thank God for averting their plans by giving power to you and we are sure that He will do the same for you again.”
Ingobere stressed that the assembly leadership was not interested in wresting power from the executive and that their only interest was the wellbeing and development of the state.