The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has revealed that his predecessor, Senator Seriake Dickson, does not act like a political godfather.
Diri commended the exemplary disposition of the former governor and described their relationship as cordial and unbroken.
He spoke at Toru-Orua, Dickson’s hometown in the Sagbama Local Government Area of the state, during his Christmas visit on Wednesday, according to a press release issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Thursday.
Diri succeeded Dickson as governor of Bayelsa State in 2020 after the Supreme Court sacked David Lyon, the declared winner of the governorship poll.
Diri said since leaving office in 2020, the former governor, who now represents Bayelsa West in the Senate, had supported him and had not been overbearing, stressing that the unity between them had contributed greatly to the peace and development of the state.
The governor recalled their long-standing relationship from their days in the Ijaw National Congress and as commissioners during the Dr Goodluck Jonathan administration in the state, and expressed optimism that the bond would remain strong.
He again expressed gratitude to Dickson for his role in his emergence as his successor and also for his support in the November 11 governorship election in the state.
He also stressed the need for unity among leaders and the people of the state while assuring them that his second tenure will be dedicated to moving the state to greater heights.
Diri said, “Today is another day for merriment. You all remember in our first year, we had some challenges. So it was difficult for us to do anything meaningful that year.
“But from 2021, we instituted this visit and it has continued. There can be nothing more refreshing than the fact that we are alive and together today. We all know the history of successors and predecessors in Nigeria but the story in Bayelsa is different.
“From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you for tolerating me and for accepting me. This is the time people want to play godfatherism but you are not doing that. We have worked together and shared a lot in common and I am sure this should be an example.
“In politics, if you do not tolerate and accept people, you will not move forward. Today we are happy because we all worked together as one. We went into the election united. Let me again seize this opportunity to thank the people of Bayelsa. You have done well to keep the peace in our state. To all those we might have offended, please forgive us.”
In his remarks, the former governor applauded Diri for sustaining the visit since it was initiated three years ago, describing it as refreshing.
Dickson said the visit was indicative of brotherliness, love, and peace and called on the people to imbibe a similar spirit of togetherness to move the state forward.
While congratulating Diri on his electoral victory, the senator commended him for his achievements in office and expressed confidence that he will do more during his second tenure.
He said, “In spite of your tight schedule, you always find time to visit. This is the third time and we appreciate it. With the consent of the leaders here, on January 3, subject to your consent, we will visit you in Sampou.
“This visit is the first after your re-election. Although we had visited to congratulate you, it is still my duty to congratulate you and your able deputy on your resounding victory. Our state has made progress due to maturity and brotherliness and it is our hope that the state will continue to be stable.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank the good people of our state and everyone who played a role in ensuring that the election was credible and violence-free. I thank you all for coming. This tradition is good and I believe it should go on even after your next four years.”
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