Kinsmen of former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe, in Kolokuma-Opokuma at the weekend endorsed Senator Douye Diri for the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the party’s September 3 primaries.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the November 16 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, on Friday said the insinuation that he is a stooge of the outgoing governor, Seriake Dickson, is totally false.

The governorship hopeful also underscored the need for peace in the rank of the 20 PDP aspirants he defeated to emerge the party’s flag bearer for the election.

Diri, who spoke in Abuja, insisted that the insinuation that he would be a stooge to cover up for the incumbent governor of state does not add up.

He said: “When people say you will be a stooge to cover up, I can tell you that there is practically nothing to cover up.

“The resources that came to the state were used for the development of the state.

“With what I saw and I participated in allocating to the ministries, departments and agencies in the state, there is nothing to cover up for anybody.

”We sit together with the governor to allocate what comes to the state. There is nothing to cover up.”

He added that the question of being a stooge does not arise because he had always been a man of his own.

The PDP candidate noted that he would make education and further growth of the economy of the state the cornerstone of his administration if elected.

Diri said that he would continue with education which Dickson made one of the policy thrust of his administration.

He said: “If we are among the first five in education in the country, we will push to ensure that Bayelsa State become the first or second best state in education in the country.”

He noted that he would build on the solid economic foundation laid by the outgoing administration in the state.

On how he emerged the PDP candidate, Diri said that he was not really the winner but the party.

He appealed to 20 other aspirants who lost the primary election to join hands with him to deliver the state to the PDP.

He said: “No matter how bitter anybody may be, we should team up and join hands together to work in the interest of the PDP and our state.”

The governorship candidate, who recognised that a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ndutimi Alaibe, “is a factor in the state,” noted that they were reaching out to all stakeholders to calm frayed nerves.

He said: “We are calling them; we are moving to them; we are also using their friends and brothers to appeal to them for us to work together. We are not there yet, but I believe we will consolidate.”

He said that many of those who lost the primary election have made it clear that they would not go to another party.

“We are not there yet. We need to get the 20 of them for us to work together to win the election,” he said.

Talking specifically about Alaibe, he said: “I worked with him for many years. Alaibe and I are from the same local government area. We worked together. I agree with you that he is a factor.

“Everybody in the race was there to win. We are talking. We are engaging our brothers at home for us to work together.”

Diri noted that “if we have a free and fair election, the APC will not win a counsellorship election in Bayelsa State because the APC is no where in the state.”

On his relationship with former President Goodluck Jonathan, he said that anybody could claim that the former president is with him.

For him, it is only at the point of voting that you know who is where.

To those who describe him as an underdog, he noted that

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