Senator Douye Diri

The Senator representing Bayelsa Central at the National Assembly, Douye Diri, has emerged winner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election in the state.

Concise News reports that the exercise, which began at 11:30pm on Tuesday night and ended at 5:00am Wednesday morning, was conducted at the Dr. Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre, Yenagoa.

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The primary election was attended by former President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Seriake Dickson and other major stakeholders of the party.

In his address, immediately after the counting of ballots, the chairman of the electoral committee and Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, declared Diri winner of the election having met all the conditions and got the highest number of votes.

Ishaku said Diri defeated 19 other aspirants to emerge the PDP candidate for the forthcoming November 16 governorship election in the state.

Out of a total of 1,244 accredited delegates, Douye Diri secured 561 votes to beat his closest rival Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, who pulled 365 votes.

Keniebi Okoko, son of a former national President of the Ijaw National Congress and Professor of Political Science, Kimse Okoko, got third position in the primaries with 142 votes.

Diri was believed to be the preferred candidate of the state governor, Seriake Dickson, for the Restoration Caucus in the state chapter of the PDP.

Prior to the voting, delegates were accredited at the Ijaw House on the Sani Abacha Expressway from where they were conveyed to the Dr. Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre.

The exercise was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Monday Tom Udoh.

Ishaku said total votes cast were 1, 253 while total valid votes were 1,237 and a total of 16 invalid votes were recorded.

“I, therefore, by the authority conferred on me as the chairman of this gubernatorial primary election which took place today in Yenagoa; the highest votes were scored by Senator Douye Diri.

“He has the highest votes of 561 votes. I, therefore, declare him as the winner of this gubernatorial election.

“I wish you good luck as you proceed to represent PDP in the general election. I want to plead with all of those who participated in the primary election to come together and work as a team so that the state can continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.

“I commend your peaceful disposition before, during and after the election, and the security agencies for providing adequate security for a peaceful, fair and credible exercise.”