In a one-day interactive session held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Swali, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) announced its endorsement of Governor Douye Diri’s second-term bid in the upcoming November 11 governorship election in the state.
The state CAN chairman, Very Rev. Father Joseph Opelema, expressed the association’s support for Governor Diri, citing his impressive performance in infrastructure development over the past three and a half years as the key reason for their endorsement. CAN emphasized the need for a God-fearing leader in the state, and they believe Diri exemplifies this quality.
CAN also acknowledged the governor’s commitment to prayer, support for the church, and various developmental initiatives. They commended Diri’s prompt payment of salaries, pensions, and gratuities, as well as his efforts in road construction, including the three senatorial roads.
Despite their endorsement of Governor Diri, CAN emphasized the importance of a peaceful electoral process and urged all political actors to refrain from violence, allowing the electorate to freely choose their leader.
The Very Rev. Father Joseph Opelema stated, “We stand with you (Diri) on our choice for continuity and consolidation. You are our choice. We are impressed by your commitment to prayers and support for the church and CAN, as well as your sponsorship of pilgrimage to the holy land. We thank you for the construction of the three senatorial roads, Glory Drive phase two, and the commencement of Glory Drive phase three.”
In response, Governor Diri expressed his gratitude to the CAN leadership for their endorsement and attributed his administration’s success to God and the support of the church. He viewed the endorsement as motivation to achieve even more in his second term. Governor Diri encouraged CAN members to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the upcoming election to enable him to build upon the achievements of his first tenure.
He emphasized that his campaign would be issue-based and condemned the use of violence in politics. As a token of appreciation, the Christian community presented a Bible to Governor Diri during the event.