Supreme Court: Litigants not my enemies –Diri

…Obaseki, Dickson hail verdict

Bayelsa Governor, Douye Diri, has again extended a hand of fellowship  to all those that filed petitions in court against his election.

Governor Diri in his reaction to Wednesday’s ruling of the Supreme Court, which dismissed the last batch of cases against him and his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the litigants were neither his enemies nor enemies of Bayelsa.

He said they only exercised their rights by going to court and that he did not consider the litigations as personal regardless of the fact that they were a distraction.

His media aide, Daniel Alabrah, said in a statement that the dismissal of the petitions of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Liberation Movement (LM) and Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) against the deputy governor and that of the Accord Party (AP) against Diri was the fifth time the governor and his deputy had won at the Supreme Court.

In putting a final seal on the governor as being duly elected, the apex court said the appeals lacked merit and therefore dismissed all four petitions.

Speaking to journalists after the judgement, Governor Diri said: “I have over the period leading to the Supreme Court ruling said as a state we do not need all of this distraction. We are one and the brotherhood should be paramount.

“After elections, particularly when a government has taken the oath of office, we expect everybody to support and bring their ideas on board for Bayelsa to grow and become prosperous. That is why we tagged our government the Prosperity Administration.

“So, today marks the end of all the litigations. If anybody wants to further appeal, maybe he can appeal to the court of the devil. But, constitutionally, I believe this is the end of all the litigations.

“Once again, I call on my brothers  that had gone on this appeal to join hands with the government of the day. And what should be uppermost on our mind should be the interest of Bayelsa and not individual and personal interest.

“Of course, it is their right to take their matter to the end. However, I call on my brothers on the other side, who are not my enemies but political adversaries, so to speak, to join hands with our government and ensure that we bring development and prosperity to our people.”

Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, in a statement, described the ruling as a victory for democracy.

“I congratulate the Governor of Bayelsa State, H.E Douye Diri and his deputy, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, on their victory at the Supreme Court, over the petition against their election. The verdict is a victory for democracy. The Supreme Court has upheld the wishes of Bayelsans.”

The governor, who said the ruling has put paid to issues surrounding the election, noted that Governor Douye is now free from any entanglement to deliver on his promises to Bayelsa people in line with the manifesto of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State.

In his reaction, immediate past governor of Bayelsa, Chief Henry Dickson, commended the bold decision of the Supreme Court to throw out the suit which he described as a distraction.

He said Governor Diri can now focus attention on the effective execution of the mandate given to him by the Bayelsa people.

“The Supreme Court and the respected justices have proved beyond doubt that the apex court remains the reliable hallowed temple of justice and a pillar of our democracy.

“I also congratulate the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party at the National and state levels and our teeming supporters for their prayers and support.

”I thank the good people of Bayelsa for retaining their faith in the PDP and I urge them to give the requisite support to the Diri Administration.”

Chief Dickson, who described the verdict as  a victory for Bayelsa, called on all leaders to support the governor and his deputy to enable them  advance the message of a prosperous Bayelsa without distractions

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