Bayelsa Guber Primary: Gov Dickson’s Protege, Douye Diri Picks PDP Ticket

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BY UBON EKANEM – As predicted by many political watchers, Senator Douye Diri has emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate for the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Senator Diri, representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, won the primary election by polling 561 votes to beat 20 other contestants in the race.

The lawmaker has been openly touted as Governor Seriake Dickson’s annoited aspirant from the ‘Restoration’ political family in the State.

The voting process, which commenced late Tuesday night at about 11.30pm, was peaceful and dragged into the early hours of Wednesday, September 4 with delegates waiting anxiously for the announcement of its outcome

Chairman of the gubernatorial electoral panel that handled the exercise, Governor, Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, who announced the results, said former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Managing Director, Timi Alaibe came second with 365 votes while the third position was occupied by Keniebi Okoko who polled 142 votes.

He listed the outgoing Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah (rtd) as scoring 62 votes; Benson Kombowei polled 24 votes; Architect Reuben Okoya recorded 19 votes to his name while Kombowe Benson got 24 votes for his efforts.

According to Governor Ishaku, votes recorded by other contestants showed that Ayawe Nimibofa and Joshua Maciver scored 7 votes each while Kemela Okara, Franklin Osaisai, Bolade Igali and Etolor Robinson got 4 votes each.

Also on the score sheet were Talford Ongolo, Kiyaramo Johnson, Benson Agadaga and Alagoa David who polled three (3) votes each and Igiri Tobin with two (2) votes.

The Taraba governor explained that a total of 1,237 accredited delegates voted during the primaries with 16 votes recorded as invalid.

Among the PDP’s bigwigs that took part as delegates at the primary election were former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who arrived the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre venue of the exercise at about 11:20pm.

He was treated to a rousing welcome by the delegates and also officially recognised by the Returning Officer, Governor Darius Ishaku

After exchanging pleasantries with the Electoral Committee, the former President was ushered to stands allocated to delegates from his Ogbia Local Government Area.

As a mark of honour for the former Nigeria’s number one citizen, the Governor Ishaku-led electoral body altered the initial alphabetical order of voting to give him the privilege of casting the first vote at the primaries.

Leading the Ogbia Local Government delegates, Jonathan stepped forward to cast their votes first, displacing Brass local government area that was originally penciled down as first on the voting list going by the alphabetical order.

Similarly, Governor Dickson enjoyed same privilege after Jonathan as he led the Sagbama delegates to cast their votes, followed by his Deputy and aspirant, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah (rtd), who led the delegates from Nembe local government council.

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