From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A gale of resignations has hit the administration of Governor Douye Diri as the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Rt. Hon. Friday Kombowei Benson and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Benson Agadaga have formally resigned to contest the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) primaries for the Senatorial tickets for Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa East Senatorial district respectively.
Also at least three commissioners, Gentle Emelah, Grace Ekiotene and Stanley Braboke, for the Ministry for Education, Transport and, Labour and Employment respectively have also resigned to contest the 2023 general elections.
Investigations revealed that several Special Advisers and Senior Special Assistants have also tendered their resignation to contest for elective offices in 2023.
Diri had restated his directive for those interested in contesting to resign at the 70th State Executive Council meeting.
Their resignations in line with the directive of Diri came on the heels of a PDP caucus meeting where crucial decisions were taken over the primaries.
The meeting presided over by Diri as leader of the party in the state and which had in attendance other top members gave automatic tickets to first timer members of House of Assembly and while the list of aspirants to contest were drastically pruned down.
Members of the State House of Assembly that have spent more than one tenure were allowed to contest, while other aspirants were cleared to contest with them.
It was after the meeting that the majority of those gunning for House of Assembly tickets had the courage to go and purchase the Nomination /Expression of interest forms.
A source at the meeting disclosed that Diri and the caucus of the party approved the nomination of three aspirants from each constituency where there is no first timer to struggle for the ticket of the State House of Assembly.
A close aide to the Diri who pleaded anonymity said the governor used the opportunity of the meeting to dispel rumours over his alleged imposition of aspirants and reported buying of all State Assembly expression of Interest and party Nomination forms.
Rather he said Diri insisted that he is disposed to proper consultation to ensure candidates that can win election emerges.
A top official of the party said Diri made it clear that he is not interested in becoming a godfather that handpicks candidates.
“The governor said it is the party that must pick candidates and not a decision left for him. For aspirants that were not serious, they were not allowed to scale through but the serious ones were cleared and they would slug it out at the primaries where the party delegates would pick the party’s candidates,” he said.