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Bayelsa: Loyalists Pit Gov. Diri Against Deputy, As Impeachment Plot Looms

Hours after the Supreme Court dismissed six appeals that sought to nullify the election of Bayelsa State Governor, Sen. Douye Diri, his political associates have resumed plans to set-up Deputy governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor, and prepare grounds for his impeachment.

Checks revealed that no sooner than the Supreme Court nullified the declaration of All Progressives’ Congress (APC)’s David Lyon as governor-elect in February than antagonists of the deputy governor began pushing for his removal.

Checks further revealed that some of the antagonists had advised against moving “too soon” against Ewhrudjakpor then in the light of anticipated legal hurdles ahead, and the political backlash it could generate.

In the build up to the Nov 16, 2019 Bayelsa governorship election, the unassuming current deputy governor came under severe coordinated media attacks from elements from the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) and the opposition who were uncomfortable with him being Diri’s running mate.

Some interest groups had at the time sued for caution in the light of the huge political contest between the PDP and formidable APC.

Shortly after APC’s David Lyon was declared governor-elect in an election largely believed to have been rigged on favour of APC, calm returned to the PDP camp as it’s deputy governorship candidate Senator Ewhrudjakpor once again, became the rallying point of the legal battle to upturn the APC “victory”.

An experienced lawyer and politician, Ewrudjakpor soon found himself shouldering the responsibility of instituting court cases, especially the one that eventually led to the disqualification of the APC candidate David Lyon and his running mate, Senator Degi.

Thereafter, old fault lines began to emerge with the same elements renewing demands that the newly sworn-in deputy governor be removed to placate their political interests.

It is also gathered that Diri loyalists there are several underground moves by some of the same members of Governor Diri’s cabinet, the opposition APC, and opposition PDP to cause a major rift between the Governor and his deputy setting the stage for the impeachment of the deputy governor.

The pressure group routing for the deputy governor’s removal have reportedly earmarked a current serving two-term member of the House of Assembly from Ogbia as his replacement. Alternatively, they want any other person from Bayelsa East senatorial district.

According to very reliable sources, part of the plan is for the current two-term serving House of Assembly member from Ogbia who has been tapped to replace the current deputy governo to be used by very high ranking political leaders from Ogbia and Bayelsa East, and some loyalists of Gov Diri, to create bad blood between Diri and his deputy to the point that they would no longer be able to work together.

According to the plan, there will be several syndicate publications in the media alleging that the deputy governor is not only too overbearing, but is being backed by the immediate past governor Seriake Dickson, to dislodge Governor Diri.

Emissaries are reportedly being recruited to meet Governor Diri immediately after Wednesday’s Supreme Court judgement, to immediately take steps to remove his deputy “if he wants to enjoy the support of the Bayelsa East senatorial district for reelection purposes.”

Another plan, added the source, is to induce members of the House of Assembly with humongous sums of US dollars to ensure that the deputy governor is impeached on the strength of frivolous allegations.

The said two-term lawmaker from Ogbia has already reportedly assured of his commitment to penetrating his colleagues in the House of Assembly once the money is provided.

Noted a federal lawmaker from the state: “Even though the immediate plan is to impeach the deputy governor and create a rift between Gov Diri and his immediate predecessor. former Governor Dickson who foisted Diri and his deputy on Bayelsans in the face of serious opposition from top politicians specially from Bayelsa East, the ultimate aim would be to make Diri vulnerable politically and easy to impeach and replaced by the same Ogbia lawmaker.”Added the source, “In fact, it is going to be replay of the Diepreye Alamieyeseigha– Goodluck Jonathan scenario once the current deputy governor Senator Lawrence Ewrudjakpor is taken out of the equation.

“It is common knowledge that Bayelsa East district have not been comfortable as they failed to produce the governor or the deputy in the current dispensation, the first time since 1999. Having realized that the current deputy governor would be difficult to use to impeach Governor Diri, who is largely seen as Dickson’s stooge, they’ve decided to, first, impeach the deputy governor before coming for Diri”, opined the lawmaker.

He added, “Some unsuspecting Diri loyalists who don’t understand the larger objective appear to be falling for the bait that the deputy governor should be removed from office. This, in the ultimate, will harm their boss Diri.

“I don’t want to believe that Governor Diri is this naive. However, it is important for him to be careful of the antics of these latter day advisers who left him and the same deputy to join David Lyon shortly before God used the Supreme Court to change everything for good,” he declared.


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