Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Douye Diri might legally be Governor of Bayelsa State, but in the hearts and minds of Bayelsans, says the All Progressives Congress (APC), he is an illegitimate governor.

The party’s comments comes as a  reaction to the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) recent criticism of the Minister of State Petroleum and former governor, Timipre Sylva, for picking holes in the Supreme Court ruling which dismissed the APC’s application for review of the February 13 judgment which sacked Chief David Lyon of the APC as governor-elect of Bayelsa State.

The Bayelsa chapter of the party had in a statement signed by its secretary, Godspower Keku, reacting to Sylva’s television interview, mocked the former governor by for aiding the PDP’s victory at the Supreme Court by insisting on fielding unqualified Senator Degi Biobarakuma Eremienyo as a running mate in the November 16 governorship election.

But Bayelsa APC in its reaction by the publicity secretary, Doifie Buokoribo said it “considers the PDP position irresponsible, petty and provocative.”

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According to him, it is a clear fact that the PDP did not win the Bayelsa State governorship election held on 16 November 2019. “The APC won that election, fair and square,” he said.

Buokoribo, who expressed the disappointment of the party with the Supreme Court verdict, declared that as citizens of Nigeria the party and its members have the right to criticise the ruling of the apex court.

“The strange decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to ignore the Bayelsa State electorate making themselves the voters and imposing another person as governor is incompatible with democratic norms. This is a judgement without justice; this is a judgement without legitimacy. Yes. Even though we are bound by the judgement as a legal entity, our party does not consider the action of the Supreme Court as fair or just. As citizens, we have the right to critique the decision of the apex court. No body or institution, not even the governor imposed on us by the Supreme Court or his party, can deny us that right. Legally, Douye Diri is the governor of Bayelsa State, but in the hearts and minds of our people, he is illegitimate. He was not the one they voted for. He will bear the burden of illegitimacy throughout his tenancy at Creek Haven, Government House, Yenagoa,” Buokoribo said.

He added that the recent decision of the Diri administration to obtain a loan for the purpose of buying “operational vehicles for the governor, his deputy and other top government functionaries is scandalous, unsympathetic and ungodly.”

A close aide of the Governor said that the PDP as a party would reply in due course as he is focused on delivering good governance to the people of Bayelsa and “does not want to be distracted by the shenanigans of the APC.”