By Kola Oredipe
MATHEMATICS is never a simple subject to a lot of people, and that is for a fact. And to be successful in politics depends largely on abilities to solve many problematic equations. The mathematics here is not the simple ‘Algebra’ but the very complex topic of ‘Integration’ which has to do with the management of different human characters and issues.
This truly requires deep experience in leadership, politics and crisis management to assuage various interests that would be at play while analysing attitudes and loyalty of interested politicians. In leadership, decisions must be taken and ahead of the recently concluded Peoples Democratic Party, PDP), primaries, the leadership of the party at every level displayed tact, while managing the processes of picking candidates either through consensus or real contest at the party primaries. As the leader of the PDP, Diri successfully managed the processes of candidates selection in due consultations with various party stakeholders in the state. And today, despite the joy of winners and the pain of loss, everyone became a winner.
Most aspirants who lost at the primaries and those that emerged have commended the dexterity and maturity displayed by the Governor Douye Diri in a widely acclaimed ‘most acceptable primaries” of the PDP in Bayelsa State.
Again, in spite of his “underdog” status, Governor Diri shocked the nay sayers with open display of calm and focus. Diri left party faithful wondering at how he wriggled out of a few of the political landmines that threatened the peaceful conduct of the primaries. They probably forgot that he had been long enough in politics to understand the intrigues. They are also at a loss as to how he pulled consensus through in some constituencies hitherto known to be contentious. Truly, he is a man who wants the best for his party, the PDP, in Bayelsa State.
With the near 100 per cent success achieved in the primaries for the State House of Assembly and the National Assembly, it is clear that only a man with immense capacity can pull that through without the usual brouhaha in the party. Governor Diri, has shown capacity and right leadership in steering the affairs of the party in Bayelsa State. Even when faced with the hydra-headed issue of zoning in some locations, Senator Diri brought to bear a justifiable political solution. God’s directives were sought in some of the issues while the wisdom of ‘Solomon’ also prevailed in certain instances on what is ‘best’ in the given the circumstances.
Congratulating all the flag bearers of the party in the state, during a recent weekly State Executive Council meeting at Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Diri said it was interesting that the PDP recorded almost 100 per cent success in the management of its primary elections across the state. He said the emergence of 32 flag bearers for the available legislative seats in the state covering 24 seats in the State House of Assembly, Five seats in the House of Representatives and three Senatorial seats, in a free, fair and transparent process was a strong indication that the PDP respects internal democracy. The governor is confident the PDP will sweep the forthcoming legislative elections in the State. This is the first time he is superintending over election process as a sitting governor and yes, he was unruffled in the face of tactical political maneuverings. Mathematics is one subject where one could easily score a 100 per cent mark. This happens simply when the mathematical solutions presented all the stages of calculations before arriving at a final answer. And in this PDP primaries in Bayelsa State, the governor has effectively managed the process with zero issue. He, indeed, got the equations right and so, manifestly scored a 100 per cent! It is pure excellence on display.
In public life, experience, they say, is the best teacher, and so holding such a critical political position as head of government at any level demands so much administrative experience. That is where you find a worthy example in Senator Diri, the fifth civilian governor of Bayelsa State. Since he came to power miraculously in 2020, his activities have revealed truly a visionary man. With a deep sense of maturity, rare patience, simplicity and focus, Diri, like the famed eagle, is uncommonly and incurably visionary and deeply “aware” of his sense of mission to humanity and strategies to deliver his developmental agenda to the people. He is visionary enough to remember his little beginning from his country home of Sampou in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state and now that he is governor in a move to change the story of development in Bayelsa State.
Steadily, things are changing for good and many citizens who never gave him the chance now openly confessed that they were misinformed about the capacity and personality of the governor. And now, they know better that Diri is kind-hearted and a good man who loves his people across the eight local government areas. In just two years in office, Governor Diri has left no one in doubt as to the direction of his government of prosperity. He has touched many lives positively through infrastructural projects and various empowerment programmes.
By every standard, Diri is an achiever with the number of projects so far completed and inaugurated. According to a quote by an American business magnate, Larry Ellison: “Great achievers are driven, not so much by the pursuit of success, but by the fear of failure.” This is exactly the drive behind the countless scheduled and unscheduled inspection visits to projects sites by a governor who does not want to be associated with failures. It is gratifying to note that the people of Bayelsa State have been pouring encomiums on the current administration under a governor who has shown genuine commitment to make a difference. Prominent leaders and key stakeholders across the eight local government areas are unanimous in their assessment of the governor who has demonstrated rare leadership qualities.
There is a conscientious urban renewal programme to give the state capital, Yenagoa, a befitting status. As a matter of pride, the popular Edepie/Etegwe roundabout is a testimony of the infrastructural upgrade within Yenagoa through expansion and beautification work. Also, over 50 internal roads within the state capital were earlier rehabilitated before the construction of 20 new internal roads.Under this government, the Bayelsa International Airport commenced commercial flight operation. The Prosperity Administration has penchant for policy of continuity with inherited projects. So much has been achieved in the areas of roads infrastructure, education, health, empowerment, skills acquisition, among others. Projects completed and inaugurated so far include a 4.5-kilometre Igbedi road, reconstructed Elebele bridge, section one of the Igbogene- AIT Elebele outer ring-road to Okarki end; the New Yenagoa city road from Onopa and the historic Nembe unity bridge that connects Nembe-Ogbolomabiri to Bassambiri.
The audacious move by previous administration to link riverine communities to Yenagoa, the State capital by roads through the three senatorial projects are on course. The Prosperity Government has continued with the construction of Sagbama-Ekeremor and Yenagoa-Oporoma road projects. Just recently, the Bayelsa State Executive Council has approved the construction of the Nembe-Brass road in Bayelsa East Senatorial district, an announcement that has been widely received by the people of the area. The people have waited for this road for over 60 years and the Prosperity Government under Sen. Diri, is standing firmly to commence the historic project.
This man Douye Diri belongs to a rare breed of high achievers. He is a passionate change agent who is serving the general interest to build an enviable future and development for the people of ancient Nembe. He is clearly an achiever who do not submit to instant gratification but invest in the long-term payoff. A courageous, fearless and prudent administrator, Governor Douye Diri, sits in his office to treat his files and memo. Having served in various positions in the past including being a Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Principal Executive Secretary, Deputy Chief of Staff, Member of the House of Representatives and Senator of the Federal Republic, he is deep in administration and very smart to deal with bureaucratic bottlenecks.
The teacher and political scientist is no rubber stamp; he is a thoroughly organised leader, with a stickler for the minute details. To him, planning is key to success and so, he guides against being pressured to sign any memo. As a man with great mind and sound judgment because of his high mental alertness, he diligently attends to matters brought before him. He detest rumours, blackmails and lies against one another. So, be sure of reports presented to him. This is a man who begins his daily routine by 5.30am with about 8 kilometre walk and jogging. Physical exercise is as good to the mind, as it is to the body and having regular exercise also sharpens the memory. After the exercise comes the morning devotion to commit the day unto God. Diri, a man who reference God is physically and spiritually strong to confront the arduous tasks before him as the Chief Executive Officer of the State each day. A man so conscious of time and schedules of engagements. He carefully organises every elements or semblance of distractions out of his life. A boss with a strong listening skills and very patient to act. He understands that a cheerful look breakdown administrative barriers. He exhumes enthusiasm with a great sense of humour while relating with his appointees and visitors. Even when he wants to disapprove a request, he brings up the smiling face to say no in the friendliest manner.
Yes, at other times, he bluntly says no to request that falls short of his expectations. That is true leadership and strict managerial skills from a man with rich administrative experience He seeks proper advice before taking critical decisions. Those attributes are the keys to the very interesting and unimaginable successes recorded so far in just two years in office. Douye Diri, is a leader who recognizes hard work and loyalty. His principles are that “Good things will surely come to those who sweat”, meaning rewards await those who work hard to deliver assignments handed them. What an ebullient administrator per excellence he is! In fact, the leadership and administrative skills of Senator Douye Diri,Governor of Bayelsa State, has become a subject of research for scholars in leadership and management fields. Thank you to an ebullient leader who is leading his people on a collective journey to have a prosperous Bayelsa State.
•Oredipe is the Director, New Media, to the Bayelsa State Governor.