By Sam Jones, Yenagoa
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has rededicated himself to work for the development of the state following the declaration of his victory in the governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Diri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored a total of 175,196 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who polled 115,262 votes.
He stressed that the future of the state rested on the hands of all the people as his speech was greeted by applause by his aides and supporters.
Declaring the results after collation that lasted from Sunday to Monday, Farouk Kuta, state returning officer for Bayelsa State, returned Diri at the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu Media Centre inside INEC State Office, Yenagoa.
Joy and celebration followed the declaration in various parts of the state capital even as several groups embarked on processions along the Chief Melford Okilo Expressway.
The governor acknowledged the contributions of all towards his victory saying “This victory would not have been possible without the mighty hand and grace of the Almighty and the overwhelming support you have shown towards me and my Government of Prosperity. I am deeply humbled by your overwhelming expression of confidence and by your mandate to serve you for another four years.
“I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone that cast your vote in my favour and entrusted me with the responsibility of leading our beloved state.
“I am also immensely grateful to the leadership of our great party, PDP, at all levels and our dedicated campaign team and supporters, who worked tirelessly to spread our message of progress and unity throughout Bayelsa State. Your unwavering belief in our vision for prosperity and your relentless efforts have brought us this sweet victory.
“However, I urge you all to celebrate with temperance, as this victory is not the exclusive preserve of any one political party. Rather, it is the collective will of a people united towards progress and a better future. Even those who cast their votes differently enriched our democratic practice by their participation and dissent. I reaffirm that I will continue to be the governor of all in Bayelsa State.
“I want to place on record our gratitude to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu for allowing the conducive environment for what has been a free, fair and credible election.
“In the same vein, we appreciate the role of most of the security agencies for their professionalism and hard work in providing security for the exercise. We equally commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for discharging their responsibility largely creditably.
“I want to specifically acknowledge and appreciate our leader, former President Goodluck Jonathan, for his unqualified support just as thank my immediate predecessor in office, H.E Sen. Henry Dickson, for his unwavering and abiding support. Our special appreciation also goes to our party leaders and my brother governors for their physical presence and invaluable moral support during this process.”
He also thanked Atiku Abubakar, Ifeanyi Okowa, Agbu Kefas of Taraba State, Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State, Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike for their support.
Diri re-echoed the words of his inaugural speech in 2020 saying “As I stated in my inauguration speech, where there is darkness, let us bring light. Where there is hatred, let us bring love. We are too few a people to be polarized and fractionalized along political, clan or other primordial ranks. My determination in fostering unity and inclusivity as we strive to achieve the shared goals and aspirations of our people is undiminished. I eagerly look forward to collaborating with each and every one of you to create a brighter future for Bayelsa.
“I equally sincerely thank all those who exercised their democratic right to vote. Your participation in this election has reaffirmed the strength of our democracy and the power that lies within the hands of the people.
“However, it is important to acknowledge that this electoral process has not been without its challenges. Regrettably, attempts by some political actors to hijack the process and undermine the will of the people resulted in the utterly unacceptable infiltration of violence, thuggery and intimidation into our electoral process. Lives of innocent individuals have been lost, an outcome that should not have occurred. Let me be clear: such actions are utterly unacceptable.
“In this moment, I offer my deepest condolences to the individuals and families that have suffered from brutal attacks, loss of life, injuries, and harassment during this off-cycle election.
“Innocent lives have needlessly been sacrificed on the altar of greed, and this tragedy must not be overlooked. I assure you that there will be consequences for these actions.
“In particular, the news of the murder of a young man, Berepelenyo George Sibo, in Twon-Brass, in the aftermath of this election, is deeply troubling. It serves as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining peace, stability, and respect for human life during and after an election. Every loss of life is a tragedy, especially when it occurs in the context of exercising democratic rights. We must collectively condemn any acts of violence and work towards creating a society where every individual can freely and safely participate in the democratic process.”
He pledged to continue to serve the people with integrity, dedication, and transparency..