Bayelsa: Diri’s Chief Press Secretary may take a walk over Jonathan
The rumoured return of President, Goodluck Jonathan to the centre stage as a presidential aspirant, and the emotions that are emanating in Bayelsa at this time may result in the sack of the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Douye Diri.
Daniel Alabrah, Chief Press Secretary had in an online article expressed strong personal reservations over Jonathan’s purported plan to vie again for an office that he vacated in 2015.
“My personal view is that another Goodluck Jonathan presidency will shortchange the whole southern Nigeria”, Alabrah wrote.
“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 than can only do one term. For me, it is a No-No.”
“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.”
Those words, proof of the freedom of expression that Nigerians cherish so much; words which apparently admonished the former Nigerian president in good faith not to take the plunge; is perhaps at the centre of a raging storm.
The Bayelsa State Government has already reacted to the online article, warning State appointees to stay clear of comments that are likely to be construed as the official position of either the government or the Governor.
“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”, the State Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Ayibaina Duba said in a statement.
“Government hereby disassociate(s) 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 the 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.”
The stern warning issued by the Bayelsa State Government may indeed be responsible for speculations in the rumour mill that Alabrah might go.
Insiders say there has been considerable pressure on the government, following the comments attributed to the Governor’s spokesperson.
Many who belong to the pro-Jonathan lobby are reportedly asking for the head of the Chief Press Secretary as some form of appeasement.
For now, Alabrah remains in office, at least at the behest of the Governor while many who think the Chief Press Secretary has been doing a good job fight to see that no harm happens to him.
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