Former President Goodluck Jonathan said he has no apologies to offer anybody for endorsing and supporting the re-election of Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, in the November 11, 2023, off-season governorship polls.
Justifying his decision, Jonathan said it was the right thing to do as the governor had the support of the majority of the people of the state to continue in office.
He spoke during the Thank-you visit of Diri and a high-powered delegation to him at his residence in Yenagoa, on Tuesday.
A statement issued by Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Wednesday, said the wife of the former President, Patience , was also on hand to receive the governor and his entourage.
Diri, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, was announced the winner of the election after polling 175,196 votes to defeat his closest rival, Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress who polled 110,108 votes.
Jonathan explained that he publicly endorsed Diri’s candidature during the campaigns because of his visionary leadership demonstrated in handling the affairs of the state.
He said the governor deserved to be re-elected for his developmental efforts, particularly for ensuring peace and stability in the state.
The former president said, “I did what I did during the governorship election and I have no apologies to anybody because I know that the governor and his team were doing very well, especially in the area of peace and stability of the state. At a time, l became very worried.
“I have not said others did not do well. After all, I was also governor for a little less than one and a half years and also had my challenges.
“Since Diri came on board, the excesses of cult groups, particularly in Yenagoa, have reduced reasonably. If we must move forward, first and foremost, we must handle the issue of security in order to attract investors. I saw that the governor and his team have a vision and he needed to be encouraged to do another four-year term.”
He charged the governor to do more to meet the high expectations of the massive support base for his Prosperity Administration, adding that “to whom much was given, much was expected.”
Responding, Diri appreciated the former president for his support and endorsement, which contributed to the PDP’s victory at the polls.
The governor expressed optimism that Jonathan would have more roles to play in reconciling people in the country and the African continent to ensure peace and development.
He said, “Your endorsement of a sitting governor was more than billions of naira. And so, having secured that endorsement, we were very sure of victory. We are here to say a big thank you, as that has brought stability in the state.
“So, with the kind of peace and security we have in our state, Bayelsa is ready for private investors to come in.”
Diri also thanked President Bola Tinubu for ensuring a peaceful, free and credible election in the state.