APC and PDP in war of words as Douye Diri obtains N2.9b car loan

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Douye Diri
APC, PDP trade words over Douye Diri

Bayelsa State All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have engaged in war of word over N2.9billion loan obtained by Governor Douye Diri to purchase official cars.

The State House of Assembly approved Diri’s request to secure N2.9billion loan to purchase operational vehicles for the governor, deputy governor and other top government officials.

The facility, said to have three-year repayment tenure, was approved by the lawmakers as part of resolutions during plenary on Tuesday.

But, the APC in a statement by state Publicity Secretary, Doifie Buokoribo, wondered why the loan should be a priority for the new administration.

Buokoribo said: “Coming less than three weeks as governor, this move is scandalous, unsympathetic and ungodly. Sadly, the Bayelsa State House of Assembly has approved the loan request.

“Diri is taking the loan at a time when civil servants and pensioners in the state have not been paid.

“Diri is taking the loan at a time when civil servants and pensioners in the state have not been paid.

“This is a continuation of the frivolities of the PDP government of Seriake Dickson; a major reason the people of the state roundly rejected them at the poll.

“Unfortunately, Bayelsa in for another long haul under an illegitimate regime that does not feel any sense of commitment to the welfare and sensibilities of the people.

“This cannot be the government that the people of Bayelsa deserve. It cannot be the government the people voted for.”

Buokoribo spoke while reacting to PDP’s comments on the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

He said it was a clear fact that the PDP was occupying the Bayelsa Government House illegitimately as the party did not win the governorship election held on 16 November 2019.

He said the APC was overwhelmingly elected by the people until the Supreme Court disqualified its candidate, Chief David Lyon.

He said: “Legally, Douye Diri is the governor of Bayelsa State, but in the hearts and minds of our people, he is illegitimate.

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“He was not the one they voted for. He will bear the burden of illegitimacy throughout his tenancy at Creek Haven, Government House, Yenagoa.

“This is a judgment without justice; this is a judgment without legitimacy. Yes. Even though we are bound by the judgment 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. Nobody or institution, not even the governor imposed on us by the Supreme Court or his party, can deny us that right.”

According to him, Sylva had already denounced the recent protests that took place in Yenagoa and Abuja after the Supreme Court judgment of 13 February.

But, the Bayelsa State chapter of the PDP described as baseless, infantile and bizarre a statement credited to the APC especially the aspect that referred to Diri as an illegitimate governor.

Its Publicity Secretary, Osom Makbere, said the statement was another proof that the APC has a disdain for the rule of law and respect for democratic institutions.

The PDP said: “The APC has once again gone berserk in their conventional fashion, taking a swipe at the February 13 and 26, 2020 Supreme Court judgments that nullified the heavily rigged November 16, 2019 governorship election as well as the candidacy of its running-mate, Senator Degi Biobarakuma Eremienyo.

“What irks the conscious mind is the audacity with which the desperate APC power-seekers cast contemptuous aspersions on the integrity of the Supreme Court, which did its final adjudicatory obligation in rationalising upon the jurisprudential implications of bearing multiple names in multiple documents without proper reconciliation.

“Indeed, the Supreme Court was helpless to doing nothing else than nullifying the participation of the APC in that election.”

The PDP spokesman believes Degi should be prosecuted for having multiple names as held by the Supreme Court.

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“But instead of repenting and showing remorse, the party and its leader, Chief Timipre Sylva, have rather threatened the people with suicide to curry sympathy.

“We urge the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute Degi Eremienyo over the ruling handed down by the apex court.

“On the allegation that the PDP did not win the election, the party asks: was the APC eligible to participate, talk less of winning an election in which its candidate was ab initio ineligible to participate?

“Why is it that they have failed to hide in shame, even amid the criminal dents they suffer and are still not sentient to avoid media publicity as though they were civic persons deserving of electoral participation?

“They (the APC) were, therefore, phoney persons before the voters, wanting to conceal their ineligibility and benefit from their stench.

“Senator Diri, therefore, hazards no burden of illegitimacy for it was a rogue mandate recovered from a rogue participant, and the mandate by the Supreme Court is renewed concerning Douye Diri like one with a new garment of righteousness.

“The APC ought to know that even ‘an illegitimate regime can beget legitimacy’ (Read the Madzibamuto vs Lardner-Burke case) and the legitimacy transferred to Diri is now washed snow-white, as though, never before worn around the leprously blemished APC and Degi.”

Makbere said criticisms of the car loan were misplaced.

“On the criticism of the N2.9 billion loan obtained by the Diri administration for the purchase of cars for top government functionaries, this is very cheap and unintelligible blackmail.

“It is more laughable when you recall that the APC while waiting to be sworn in, had already taken an N8billion loan, with which it purchased cars for persons not yet accorded official portfolios.

“Sadly, the APC and its structure always look puerile in their role as an opposition party and this calls for deep concern.”

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