Swear-in opposition members, IYC tells Bayelsa Assembly

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The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) on Wednesday urged the Bayelsa assembly to swear in three opposition lawmakers-elect after they won their cases at the appeal court.

Its President, Mr Udengs Eradiri, who made the call at a news conference in Yenagoa, condemned the exclusion of the opposition members-elect after receiving their certificates of return from INEC.

Eradiri said that Alfred Belemote (APGA-Brass 2), ‎Gabriel Ogbara (ADC-Ogbia 2) and Gibson Munalayefa (LP-Ogbia 3) were yet to be sworn into the assembly two months after securing victory at the appeal court.

Eradiri said the continued exclusion of the three lawmakers-elect was unfair and injustice to the constituents they represented.

“The non-swearing in of the three members-elect who are Ijaw people and Bayelsa people has become a matter of concern.

“I call on the leadership of Bayelsa assembly to swear them in as a matter of justice.

“Information at our disposal indicates that they already have their certificates of return. It is injustice to them and their constituents because issues concerning their constituencies are not discussed in the assembly,” he said.

The IYC president that the exclusion negated the oath of office of the speaker and the leadership of this state who swore to protect the rights and interests of the people, saying it was unacceptable to trample upon the rights of the people.

“We urge the speaker of the assembly to do what is right and swear them in.

“We have received complaints from the constituents who are Ijaw people. There cannot be injustice orchestrated by Ijaw people against Ijaw people,” Eradiri said.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the assembly, Mr Kombowei Benson, has declined comment on the alleged refusal to swear in the lawmakers-elect.

Also, the Commissioner for Information in the state, Chief Jonathan Obuebite, has dissociated Gov. Seriake Dickson from the controversy in the state assembly.

“The Bayelsa governor has never interfered with the affairs of the state assembly; the state assembly is not subject to the unilateral control of the state executive.

“The governor and government will not interfere in the business of the state assembly.

“It is an internal affair and the people should not drag the state governor into it.

“As a former legislator, the governor has promoted independence of the legislature and not interference,” Obuebite said.

DCSL 90X780

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