President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with Bayelsa Governor Douye Diri, promising to work for peace in the state in particular and the Niger Delta region in general.
Buhari was meeting Diri officially for the first time since he resumed as governor on February 14.
Recall that the Supreme Court had on February 13 sacked the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.
A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the All Progressives Congress’ candidate as the winner of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
The Apex Court ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which are the Peoples Democratic Party.
The court upheld the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which had disqualified Degi-Eremienyo in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC.
The court ruled that Mister Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification had infected the joint ticket with which he and the governorship candidate, Lyon, ran for and won November 16, 2019.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after meeting President Buhari, Diri said he was received like a son.
He said: “It is a private visit. Since I resumed as Governor of Bayelsa State, precisely on the 14th of February, I have not come to see the father of the nation.
Today I just did that, to come and see the father of our country and to work with the federal government of Nigeria in ensuring peace and stability in my state and ensuring the development of my state. That is what informed my visit to Mr. President today.”
On how he was received and the promise he made to Bayelsa State, Diri said: “Mr. President received me as one of his sons, as a governor of a state and he received me very warmly. I am very satisfied with the reception.
“As I said earlier, Mr. President received me as one of his sons, as a state governor and the reception was very warm. He went ahead to say that he was happy that I came and that he was happy with the way I have started. He went on to say he has read about all the statements that I have made and the security so far in Bayelsa.
“He promised as one of his sons, a state like Bayelsa that is critical to the security and peace in the Niger Delta, he was prepared to also work with me.”