Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Senator Douye Diri, who is the senator representing Bayelsa Central senatorial district, a close associate of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson from Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area is the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the November 16 Bayelsa State governorship election.
Diri defeated other candidates, including the incumbent Deputy-Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribigha John Jonah; the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Kemela Okara and former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Ndutimi Alaibe.
Out of the 1,306 delegates for the election, 1,244 were accredited in a painstaking exercise that took place at the Izonwari House along Sani Abacha road.
Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, who was the retuning officer for the election, said Diri polled 561 votes to defeat the other 21 aspirants. According to him, Diri was returned elected as the flag bearer of the PDP in line with the constitution of the PDP.
The number of accredited delegates from the eight local government areas, according to how they voted was as follows: Ogbia 150, Sagbama 164, Nembe 151, Brass 125, Kolokuma/Opokuma 141 and Southern Ijaw 169.
Voting commenced at about at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre amidst tight security at 11pm.
Before the commencement of voting, the returning officer for the Bayelsa Governorship Primary Election and Governor Ishaku assured the aspirants and voters of a level playing field, but warned that anybody that wanted to foment trouble would be bundled out.
He also called on the maintenance unit of the Gabriel Okara Centre and directed that on no account should the light go off and also instructed the Commissioner of Police to deploy two policemen to the generator house.
Ishaku called the aspirants’ agents for observations which prompted the agent of former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) , Mr Tiwei Orunimighe, asking Ishaku to order the state chairman and state secretary to excuse themselves from the podium and join the delegates as they were interested parties in the election.
He, however, altered the voting pattern which had earlier been agreed to, which was to follow an alphabetical order to allow Former President Goodluck Jonathan and the delegates from Ogbia to vote first before reverting to the agreed pattern.
Below is how the aspirants finished in primary election.
Douye Diri 561
Timi Alaibe 365
Keniebi Okoko 142
Gborigbiogha John Jonah 62
Konbowei Benson 24
Reuben Okoya 19
Fred Agbedi 18
Nimibofa Ayawei 7
Joshua Macaiver 7
Kemela Okara 4
Godknows Igali 4
Etolor Robinson 4
Franklin Osaisai 4
Johnson Kiyaramo 3
Benson Agadaga 3
Talford Ongolo 3
Alagoa David 3
Emmanuel Paulker 2
Igiri Tobi 2