2023: Diri disown comment by his aide on Jonathan, issue stern warning

The Bayelsa State Government, on Thursday, distanced itself from an online article published by Governor Douye Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, in which he expressed his personal views in opposition to the speculated bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Ayibaina Duba, in Yenagoa.

It said the clarification became necessary because, despite the fact that Alabrah clearly stated that the views he articulated were personal, many had mistaken his personal opinion for that of Diri and his administration because of Alabrah’s position as the CPS to the governor.

Alabrah said in the online article, “My personal view is that another Goodluck Jonathan presidency will shortchange the whole southern Nigeria.

“He can constitutionally run for only one term of four years. After a northerner, the President, Major general Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)’s eight years, the south would spite its face presenting a president that can only do one term. For me, it is a No-No.”

The governor’s media further said, “On another front, Jonathan running on the APC ticket is totally unacceptable to me. After being president on the PDP platform for five years, joining the APC solely for the purpose of becoming President gives him away as being overly desperate. It rubbishes the tag on him as being a democrat.

“If he is still interested to return to the Aso Villa, why dump the PDP? Accepting to join APC because of the lure of the presidential ticket is like swallowing the poisoned chalice. And I’ll be too happy to see him lose if he contests. It doesn’t matter to me whether he is our respected leader from Bayelsa. My candid personal opinion.”

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But the government insisted that they were Alabrah’s personal views and did not in any way represent the position of his principal, the governor, or the government.

The statement read in part, “For the records, the views expressed by Mr. Daniel Alabrah were his private views and do not represent the position of the Governor or the Bayelsa State Government.

“Government hereby disassociate completely with the views expressed by Mr. Daniel Alabrah. His views are not, cannot, and should not be attributed to the Governor and the Government of Bayelsa State.

“It must be stated here that Governor Douye Diri respects and holds the person and the position of the former president, His Excellency, Dr.  Goodluck Jonathan in high regard.

“Members of the public should therefore disregard any unfounded attribution of the CPS’s unflattering personal views on the subject matter to the Governor and or the Government of Bayelsa State.

“Government further wishes to use this medium to warn appointees of the administration to be conscious of their position and appreciate that their opinion can easily be misconstrued for those of Government. They are advised to exercise restraint and good judgment in their public discourse.

“Government will not hesitate to take drastic action against any appointee who throws caution into the wind, fails to respect his office, and conduct himself in a manner that may put the Governor in disrepute, undermine the good image of the Bayelsa State Government or cause disaffection among stakeholders in the state.”

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