ANXIETY IN BAYELSA AS SUPREME COURT REVIEWS ITS EARLIER RULING ON THE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION PETITION

By Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

Residents of Bayelsa State are anxiously waiting for the outcome of the review of the Supreme Court’s judgement that sacked Chief David Lyon and Senator Degi Erimienyo as Governor-Elect and Deputy Governor-Elect, investigations have revealed.

The review, which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday at the apex court, was the single most important discussion among residents including non-politicians such as bankers, artisans and traders.

The review was the leading subject in beer parlors, pubs and most places where people gathered for engagements in Yenagoa.

The court on February 13, a day to Lyon’s inauguration as the governor of the state, delivered a controversial judgement that returned Senator Douye Diri of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of the state.

Thousands of residents including members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) took to the streets of Yenagoa, the state capital, to protest the judgement, which they said was against their collective interests.

But others especially members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) trooped to the Government House in wild jubilation to celebrate the verdict.

The tension generated by the shocking judgement subsided following the decision of the top hierarchy of the APC to approach the apex court for a review.

As the court fixed February 26th to begin the review, uneasy calm hit the state as all eyes were reportedly fixed at the apex court.

It was observed that most people invested their hope and expectations at the likely outcome of the review.

Investigations revealed that most politicians across party lines relocated to Abuja ahead of the scheduled review.

Governor Douye Diri and his team had been in Abuja, though a member of the team, who spoke in confidence, said his principal was in Abuja to also attend a valedictory session organised for him by the Senate.

Most PDP leaders in Bayelsa were also said to be in Abuja to monitor proceedings leading to the judgement review.

In the camp of PDP, expectations were high that Diri would remain the governor as opinion leaders in the party and pro-PDP lawyers described the review as an academic exercise.

Other residents, however, believed that the review would either restore the mandate of David Lyon or make a fresh consequential order for a new election, which would involve Lyon and the APC.

The camp of APC was said to be seriously undertaking activities to seek divine intervention ahead of the review.

It was found that APC members organised a special prayer session at the party secretariat in Yenagoa to seek a positive outcome.

Lyon, his associates, friends and brothers were said to have relocated to Abuja to monitor events leading to the review, which some people described as make or mar.

The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide earlier raised the alarm over what they described as a plot to visit Bayelsa with violence ahead of the exercise.

The IYC said desperate politicians were bent in causing chaos including a coordinated attack on oil installations in the state against the overall interest of the Ijaw nation.

The IYC in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Alfred Kemepado, warned against the plot and urged persons involved in it to sheathe their swords and give peace a chance.

Kemepado asked persons angry at the twist in the state to explore legal or political means to address their grievances.

He said instead of planning violence, aggrieved persons should follow democratic procedures to ensure peace and stability in the interest of the Ijaw nation.

Kemepado also called on security agencies to be at alert to nip any signs of violence in the bud before they loom large to avoid loss of lives and properties.

He appealed to the incumbent governor to accommodate all Ijaw people in and outside Bayelsa state irrespective of their political persuasions.

Kemepado further called on all Ijaw people especially in Bayelsa to join the new government in the task of building the state, which is the only homogeneous Ijaw state in the country.

He condemned in strong terms the persons, who turned a peaceful protest in Yenagoa to a violent rampage that led to the destruction and looting of properties in the capital city.

He insisted that nobody’s ambition was worth the blood of any Ijaw person.

He said: “If any person or party feels aggrieved by the Supreme court judgments that consequentially made Sen. Douye Diri Governor, such persons should approach the courts for redress or seek political solutions rather than indulge in any unlawful activity that could endanger life and property in any part of Ijaw land.

“All Ijaws are equal and have right to aspire to become anything in Ijaw land. The IYC warns against incitement of the state and the region to violence because of politics, stressing that politicians are less than one percent of the population of Ijaws who go about their lawful businesses daily.

“We also warn some persons to desist from activities that could put the state and the region in a bad light. Any person or group of persons, who make themselves available for paid violence in the Niger Delta, is totally on the wrong side of history.

“We want to also caution the political class and paymasters of instability to desist forthwith as their selfish plots and activities are known to all.

“We stress that instead of plotting instability for the state because of self-serving political ambitions, everybody should come together to build a more peaceful and prosperous Bayelsa State”.

https://thenationonlineng.net/disquiet-in-bayelsa-as-supreme-court-reviews-judgement/

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