OrderPaperToday – With the Bayelsa gubernatorial election over with, Sen. Diri Douye, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party at the November 16 gubernatorial election will return to the Red Chamber, not to bid it farewell as he moves to the governors lodge, but to take consolation that all is not lost.
For the very first time since 1999, a governor-elect of Bayelsa State is not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). David Lyon, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared winner of the election.
Interestingly, Douye’s colleague from Bayelsa, Sen. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, will return triumphantly to the Red Chamber as the deputy governor-elect under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, pending the outcome of a court case on his eligibility.
Douye had almost everything going for him; he had the support of the incumbent governor and the “Restoration Team” and even the rotation politics of his state favoured him.
Here is a quick summary of the rotation arrangement in the state.
In 1999, Preye Alameiyeseigha represented Ijaw South Local Government Area, after which Jonathan took the turn of Ogbia Local Government after he was impeached.
Timipreye Sylva, from Brass Local Government Area, took over from Jonathan and was succeeded by the incumbent Seriake Dickson who is from Sagbama Local Government.
In all these, only Dickson succeeded in serving two terms as governor of the oil rich state.
Nembe, Ekeremor and Yenagoa have produced deputy governors in the persons of Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd), Chief Peremobowei Ebebi and Chief Werinipre Seibarugu respectively.
The only local government that is yet to produce an occupant of the Government House is Kolokuma-Opokuma.
And so, for Douye, everything, including the rancour and disarray in APC seemed to be working for him.
48 hours to the election, a high court in Yenagoa nullified the emergence of David Lyon, then candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), until an Appeal Court in Abuja issued a stay of execution.
24 hours before that, Lyon’s deputy, Sen Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, was disqualified on a qualification related issue, until again, a higher court intervened.
However, the only thing missing for Douye was the endorsement of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who reportedly supported Timi Alaibe for the ticket during the PDP primary election.
His candidate failed to scale through the primaries because the governor allegedly used his influence to pave way for Douye, a former House of Representatives member just like Dickson and a current serving senator.
Perhaps he was a victim of a cross fire between Governor Seriake Dickson and his former benefactor, Jonathan.
In 2011, through the support of Jonathan who was president then, Dickson dislodged Timipriye Sylva as governor, but his effort to capture the entire political structure of the state posed threats to the former president and his loyalists.
The handwriting was clearly on the wall that APC was getting closer to power when at the last general election, the party captured one senatorial seat and two House of Reps seats in the state.
This was a remarkable achievement considering the symbolic position of Bayelsa State to the PDP as a party.
In the end, the court could not save Douye, rotation failed to help and the incumbency factor could not deliver him from the landslide defeat by Lyon’s 35,2552 votes to his 143,172 votes.
Nevertheless, the Senate still have something to smile about as the relationship between the Chamber and Government Houses deepens. They missed a governor but are consoled that they have a deputy.