The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 16 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa state, Senator Douye Diri has spoken about his relationship with a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe.
Diri who spoke in Abuja on Friday during an interactive session with senior journalists said that he was a political ally of Alaibe for 10 years before they parted ways.
“For clarity, a lot of people saw me as a staff of NDDC but I wasn’t. I was a political ally and a close person to Chief Timi Alaibe, believing that we were going to enthrone a government in Bayelsa that would be more responsive to the people.
“I was with Chief Alaibe for about 10 years. One thing or the other happened in each election we attempted. Then he would return to NDDC. A few of us didn’t feel very comfortable with that.
“Just to let you know, we hail from the same local government area. So he is my brother. I see him as a brother and I believe that he too sees me as one” Diri said.
On why they parted ways, he explained, “Being a former colleague, he (Dickson) invited me to be a part of the campaigns. In fact, when I accepted the offer and informed Chief Alaibe, my political ally at that time, he didn’t take it kindly. That was how we parted ways. So, I joined Governor Dickson, we campaigned, went into the election and he won in 2012.”
The governorship candidate called on security agencies to ensure a level playing ground at the governorship poll adding that the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) cannot win any election in the state if the election were to be fair.
“We have a fight ahead of us but I don’t see our opponents as being so strong on ground to defeat the PDP. If we have a free, fair and transparent election, the APC cannot win even a councillorship election in Bayelsa State. It is all the hype about federal might by using security apparatus to intimidate or using INEC to write results.
“Our appeal is that the security agencies must be professional. INEC must remain an unbiased umpire. If there is that fair playing field, the opponents are neither here nor there to contest in this election. ”
“Today, the number of Bayelsans involved in economic activities is low. That will be one of our policy thrusts while not forgetting the issue of security. No government can thrive and do well without security. We are seeing bits of it at the federal level where the level of insecurity in the country is so high. Those are the things I will build on. But that is not to say we will neglect other sectors” he said.
Alaibe contested last week’s PDP governorship primary and was the runner up to Diri,who was the anointed candidate of the state’s governor, Seriake Dickson. The former NDDC boss faulted the conduct of the election.