Politics has taken backstage, we’re back, Alaibe as he settles rift with Diri
The long time rift between Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, and former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, appears to have become a thing of the past.
This is as Diri and Alaibe, who have been having a running political battle that escalated during the last governorship election in the state, have decided to give politics a backseat and reconcile their differences.
Recall that after Diri emerged winner of the September 3, 2019 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary and Alaibe came a distant second, the former NDDC boss had felt cheated about the outcome and approached the court challenging the choice of newly elected chairmen and councillors as part of the statutory delegates in the primary.
After his argument was dismissed by the court, the feud between the duo continued in the media, as Diri rejected a congratulatory message from Alaibe, arguing that it was laced with bitterness and outright mockery of his emergence as governor.
However, on Monday, January 16, 2021, both men met at the Government House Yenagoa and agreed to bury the past for the sake of the development of Bayelsa State.
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Confirming this in a statement titled ‘We are back’, Alaibe said: “After repeated interventions by mutual friends, business partners and political associates, I finally considered it necessary to put an end to the ugly past, drop political differences and re-establish an age-old friendship with my brother and State Governor, Douye Diri.
“Let me state here that Governor Diri and I have come a long way. We have not only been political partners, there is a deep sense of brotherhood in our relationship. Somehow, in 2019, political differences thrust a sharp knife into that bond; and as the late Chinua Achebe would say, things fell apart and the centre could no longer hold.
“But then, blood is thicker than water. We both knew that what happened was temporal. Our mutual friends decided to wade in; especially those who knew what happened and believed that Governor Diri could not be held directly responsible. He only had favour thrust upon him.
“I must admit that out of a deep sense of humility and friendship, Governor Diri had, at several times, shortly after taking office, personally reached out to me. I chose to remain silent as I reviewed the situation. But all that is now history. Time has healed the wounds and I have chosen to do the right thing.
“There is no doubt that the reconciliation will surprise a lot of people; particularly some political jobbers who profited from our temporary silence. What has happened might also be misinterpreted and given various colouration by different people. But the truth is that I have chosen to listen to the voice of wisdom and re-establish a cherished relationship; which politics tried to destroy.
“To demonstrate the sincerity of my intentions and reciprocate the same humility, which Governor Diri had displayed previously, I refused to meet him on a neutral ground. Instead, in the company of close friends, I went to the governor’s official residence in Yenogoa and I was warmly welcomed by him and his team.
“I am thoroughly impressed by the sincerity displayed of my governor. So, the past is behind us. Politics has taken backstage. Friendship and the collective interest of Bayelsa people are in the centre stage now. We are back to work together in love and unity. Join us”.
Alaibe was accompanied on the peace mission by former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Austin Okpara and former Minister of Transport, Chief Abiye Sekibo.