Within hours of the delivery of the Supreme Court judgment that affirmed the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the last presidential election, at least two governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP openly came out to congratulate the president.
The two were Senators Douye Diri of Bayelsa State and Ademola Adeleke of Osun State. A third PDP governor whose support for Tinubu is generally known to be a given had as at press time yet to make a statement. That is Governor Simi Fubara of Rivers State. We cannot easily forget his call on his political godfather, Nyesom Wike not to abandon him in the PDP wherever he goes.
Diri was in the Supreme Court as the apex court delivered judgment. Those who saw him in the court believed that he came to give support to his party. Of course, there are some who would also say that the Bayelsa governor had a sense of nostalgia or affection for the apex court. We remember that the same court created the miracle that made him governor four years ago on a technicality after he came second in the governorship election.
As it is, had the Supreme Court given victory to Atiku Abubakar, Diri would easily have also followed him to the Presidential Villa and would have been hailed as one of the enduring supporters of the PDP presidential candidate.
So, it is apparent that early on Thursday morning Governor Diri’s protocol team put the Presidential Villa on its itinerary irrespective of who was declared as winner of the presidential election.
Including the Presidential Villa in the governor’s itinerary irrespective of who won is reflective of the powers of the president in Nigeria’s democracy.
The Nigerian Constitution has made the president of Nigeria one of the most powerful political officeholders in the world.
With Tinubu, a consummate politician as president it is clear that the enormous powers of the president will be wholly deployed for his maximum political gain.
The way Tinubu eviscerated internal rivalry within the Alliance for Democracy, AD in Lagos and subsequently opposition political parties will remind anyone of his political perceptiveness.
Diri’s long trip to the Supreme Court and then to the Presidential Villa was despite the fact that he was supposed to be doing the campaign rounds ahead of the governorship election in Bayelsa holding in about two weeks.
Many believe that the visit and handshake with Tinubu were meant to win a level playing field ahead of the election that many expect to be shadowed with violence. The election that brought Diri to power four years ago was shadowed by violence which his camp blamed on the camp of the APC leader, Timipire Sylva.