Wike Reconciles Diri, Alaibe 2 Years After Bayelsa Primaries.
Chief Nditimi Alaibe, the former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has reconciled with Senator Douye Diri, the governor of Bayelsa State, after a two-year rift following the controversial governorship primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state two years ago.
Governor Diri received 561 votes in the gubernatorial primary, while Alaibe received 365 votes.
Alaibe, on the other hand, refused to accept the results of the primaries and took his case all the way to the Supreme Court, where he was also defeated.
Alaibe, on the other hand, presented an olive branch to Governo Diri after exhausting his legal options, but Governor Diri rejected his peace offer, calling it untimely.
They are both from the Kolokuma/Opokuma local government region and have known one other for over 20 years.
The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, is said to have played a key role in bringing the two together. During his recent visit to Yenagoa, Wike is said to have persuaded Governor Diri to terminate the cold war with Alaibe.
The reconciliation issue was clearly discussed during the closed-door meeting between the two governors at the Bayelsa Government House.
Wike quickly appointed Austin Okpara, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Abiye Sekibo, the former Transport Minister, to meet with Alaibe and try to reconcile the two.
Meanwhile, Chief Alaibe, who visited Governor Diri at his residence in the Bayelsa Government House on Sunday evening to express open acceptance of Governor Wike’s reconciliation efforts and the state’s peace, confirmed the development in a statement released a few hours later, insisting that the reconciliation was achieved after repeated interventions by mutual friends, business partners, and political associates.
According to him, “I finally considered it necessary to put an end to the ugly past, drop political differences and re-establish age-old friendship with my brother and State Governor, Douye Diri. That happened on Sunday January 16. 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 thrusted 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 coloration 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 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 the 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 stated.
In his response, the Bayelsa State governor also confirmed the reconciliation and end to the cold war between him and Alaibe, saying: “A great day indeed when I received my brother, the man we call “Principal”, Chief Timi Alaibe, proud son of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
“We have been in this political journey together for over 20 years and I am glad to reunite with him for the love and development of our dear State of Bayelsa. It’s indeed a new dawn! A whole new chapter has been opened as we all reflected on the past. Together, we can make that difference for our people.”