Douye Diri, a Senator represents Bayelsa Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly has emerged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Bayelsa governorship election fixed for November 16, Newsflash247 reports.
Newsflash247 gathered that 1,244 delegates were accredited, Diri pulled 561 votes to beat his closest rival, the former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Timi Alaibe who got 365 votes in primary held on Tuesday at Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Yenagoa.
The Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku who is the Chairman, Party’s Electoral Committee for the state, declaring the result, said Mr Keniebi Okoko came third with 142 votes.
Reports that 21 governorship aspirants contested to be the party flagbearer and about 16 votes were declared invalid following multiple voting and other unrecognised patterns of casting ballots.
A breakdown of the accredited delegates according to their local government areas showed that 196 were from Southern Ijaw; 169, Yenagoa; 164, Sagbama and 150, Ogbia.
Others were Nembe, 151; Ekeremor, 148; Kolokuma-Opokuma, 141 and Brass 125.
Arrangements for actual voting commenced at about 11pm following the arrival of the Returning Officer and Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, his committee members and observers from the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ishaku invited the agents of the parties to come forward to be guided through the process and read the Riot Act to the delegates and aspirants.
A former Chairman of Southern Ijaw, Chief Tiwe Oruminighe, who was an agent of one of the aspirants and former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) observed that the state party officials should stop identifying with the committee since they were delegates and interested parties.
Ishaku ordered the Chairman of the party, Cleopas Moses and the party secretary, Keku Godspower to be at the rows allocated to their local government areas.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan arrived the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, the venue of the governorship primaries.
Jonathan, who arrived at about 11:20pm, was given thunderous ovation by the delegates and was also recognised by the Governor of Taraba State and Returning Officer, Darius Ishaku
The former President after exchanging pleasantries with the electoral committee went to sit at the row allocated to Ogbia, his Local Government Area.
The Darius Ishaku-led electoral committee distorted the alphabetical order of voting to allow former President Goodluck Jonathan the privilege of voting first in the primaries.
Jonathan was asked to lead delegates from Ogbia, his Local Government Area, to cast their votes first instead of Brass local government area, which should have come first by alphabetical order.
Dickson was also given a privileged treatment after Jonatha as he was asked to lead the Sagbama delegates followed by his Deputy, who led the Nembe delegates.
Diri was a member of the House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019, where he represented the people of Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma federal constituency of the state.
He was later elected as the Senator representing Bayelsa central senatorial district during the 2019 general election.
Diri emerged from the Restoration Caucus of the PDP led by Governor, Seriake Dickson, who presented him as the preferred aspirant of the caucus a day before the election.