From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
After two years of cold war, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Ndutumi Alaibe has ended the feud with Bayelsa Governor, Senator Douye Diri.
The two politicians from Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State had been long- standing associates until 2019 when they parted ways in the build up to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries.
Former governor of the state, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson had thrown his weight behind Diri in the controversial primaries which Alaibe insisted was manipulated to edge him out of the governorship race.
Diri won the primaries by 561 votes while Alaibe polled 365 votes and despite overtures from some close associates to let the matter be, Alaibe rejected compromise proceeding to the Court to seek redress up to the Supreme Court but failed to reclaim the governorship ticket.
Governor Diri had rejected the olive branch Alaibe extended to him after the latter‘s appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court, denouncing it as “half-hearted”.
Investigations revealed that Governor Nyesom Wike played a key role in reconciling the two politicians in the bid to strengthen the PDP in Bayelsa State.
Wike who visited Diri recently at the Government House Yenagoa in company of two former deputy speakers of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara and Prince Chibudom Nwuche, former governor Celestine Omehia and former Minister of Transport, Chief Abiye Sekibo, was said to have prevailed on Bayelsa governor to accept Alaibe peace moves and end the feud between them.
Diri was said to have accepted Wike’s advice and told the latter if Alaibe makes the peace move he was going to accept and reconcile with him.
Sources said Wike in turn asked Opara and Sekibo to speak with Alaibe on the need for the feud between him and Diri to end in the interest of Bayelsa and the national PDP politics.
Alaibe who heeded Wike’s advice over the weekend visited Diri in Yenagoa in company of Opara and Sekibo with a mutual associate, Olice Kemenanbo from Opokuma and state lawmakers Tonye Isenah and Wisdom Fafi in attendance.
In a Facebook post after the visit, Alaibe confirmed that he has made peace with Diri explaining that he has found it necessary “to put an end to the ugly past, drop political differences and re-establish age-old friendship with my brother and State Governor, Douye Diri.”
Alaibe who recalled that the duo have been political partners also admitted that Diri at several times reached to him to make peace.
“ Time has healed the wounds and I have chosen to do the right thing. There is no doubt that the reconciliation will surprise a lot of people; particularly some political jobbers who profited from our temporary silence. What has happened might also be misinterpreted and given various colouration by different people. But the truth is that I have chosen to listen to the voice of wisdom and re-establish a cherished relationship; which politics tried to destroy.”