Bayelsa West APC elders knock Diri


The Bayelsa West All Progressives Congress Elders Forum has berated the decision of the State Governor, Douye Diri, to support Senator Seriake Dickson’s second term bid to represent the senatorial district at the 2023 National Assembly elections.

According to the group, Diri had deliberately rubbished the good intentions of the senatorial district’s elders who initiated and championed the practice of the existing zoning agreement on alternating the Senate and House of Representatives seats between the Sagbama and Ekeremor Local Government Areas.

This was contained in a statement on Wednesday signed by members of the forum, including Senator John Brambaifa, Peremobowei Ebebi, Alex Ekiotenne, Andrew Oputa, Gad Ombeh, Ebikiri Akpolo, Benjamin Youdiowei, Stephen Ogula and Robinson Etolor.

Others are Ebitimi Amgbare, Godbless Micah, Kingsley Mirin, Wilson Dauyigha, Martins Gbaregolo, Rosemary Ekighazi, Rose Itoko Amadi, Lucky Agbalaje and Stanley Damabide.

It said that the existing zoning formula was aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence among the people of Sagbama and Ekeremor through rotational representation that encourages equity, fairness and good conscience.

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The forum said, “The action of the governor is a clear violation of Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which unambiguously defines the primary role of the state to ensure the security and welfare of its citizens.

“The decision of the governor will certainly culminate in the outburst of grave adverse consequences on the premise that Dickson’s emergence as a senator (for second term) will be a recipe for deep-seated frustration and attendant response by the people of Ekeremor Local Government Area.”

The elders pointed out that several agreements and communiques had been issued in the past which had always formed the fulcrum of the principle of rotational representation in the National Assembly, maintaining that it was the turn of Ekeremor to produce a senator.

The forum further said, “In 2015, the district had an agreement which scuttled and marred the third term ambition of the then Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and the process was midwifed by the former Governor, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson.

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“The governor’s decision is a deliberate and well-orchestrated attempt to relegate the people of Ekeremor Local Government Area as he cannot feign ignorance of the fact that Sagbama Local Government Area has occupied the senatorial seat for 16 years.

“The governor’s support for Dickson’s second term ambition is a show of impunity and the use of state power to coerce the wish of the people.”

The Bayelsa West APC elders cautioned Diri to steer clear from the zoning issue since he was not an indigene of the district and his involvement had escalated tension in the area.

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