Friends, family members, political associates and supporters of the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri on Friday, June 4, 2021, poured encomiums on him as he marked his 62nd birthday.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in a message on his verified Twitter handle described Diri as his “brother” and prayed God to grant him many more years of good health to serve his state and nation.
On his part, a former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki also wished the Bayelsa number one citizen good health and long life in the service of his people.
He said: “Happy Birthday to my dear friend and brother, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri. As you celebrate another year, I wish you long life, good health, and the blessings of Almighty God”.
Also, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, lauded Diri for his tremendous contributions, through service, to the development of his state and country and wished him well in the years ahead.
Born on June 4th, 1959 to the family of A.J.M Diri of Kalama-Owinari compound of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Diri is the current governor of oil-rich Bayelsa State.
He began his early education at Okoro Primary School, Sampou and moved on to State School, Kaiama (now Rev. Proctor Memorial Primary School Kaiama) where he earned his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1977.
Thereafter, he enrolled at Government Secondary School Odi, in Bayelsa, where he was appointed Dining Hall Prefect and passed the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) in 1981.
He proceeded to the College of Education in Port Harcourt, Rivers State where he obtained his Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) in 1985. Then he attended the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State and obtained his Bachelors of Education degree in Political Science in 1990.
Governor Diri began his career as a teacher and taught in several Government Schools in the rural area in the Old Rivers State.
After teaching for a while he decided to venture into politics, he was appointed the First National Organizing Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress (INC).
He was also appointed Executive Secretary, Centre for Youth Development in Bayelsa State from 2000 to 2002 during the tenure of the First Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha.
Diri was later appointed as Commissioner for Youth and Sports in 2005/2006 during Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in Bayelsa State.
He later went on to be the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Disciplinary Council, Bayelsa State in 2012. He was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House in August 2012.
A year later, he was appointed as Principal Executive Secretary, a position he held until he resigned in 2014 to contest for the Federal House of Representatives to represent Kolokuma/Opokuma, and Yenagoa Federal Constituency and won the election in 2015.
In 2019, he moved from the Green Chamber of the National Assembly to the red chamber after he won the Bayelsa Central Senatorial District election to represent the people of Southern Ijaw, Yenagoa and Kolokuma/Opokuma.
On September 3rd, 2019, Diri won the PDP gubernatorial primary election in Bayelsa State to proceed as the party’s flag bearer for the governorship election of Bayelsa, with 561 votes.
By some unexplained circumstance, Diri lost the gubernatorial election on November 16, 2019 to his main rival and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief David Lyon, causing a major setback to his political career and destroying the 20 year record of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But like a man destined for the job, the Supreme Court voided the election of Lyon on the eve of his inauguration and declared Diri as the authentic winner of the poll, thus restoring his mandate.
Since he became the Bayelsa Chief Executive, Diri has introduced far-reaching reforms, geared towards repositioning the state and placing it on the path of rapid socio-economic growth, while also building on the strong legacies of his predecessor and political benefactor, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson.
His critics are not happy about his urban renewal programme but the governor is not deterred. To him, the Prosperity Agenda of his administration must be fulfilled even if a few feathers will be ruffled along the way. He has vowed to make an impressive impact before he leaves office and he is on that trajectory.