Ijaw youth urge Bayelsa Assembly to swear in opposition members

Kombowei Benson, Speaker Bayelsa State House of Assembly

The Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, on Wednesday urged Bayelsa State House of Assembly to swear-in three opposition lawmakers who won judgement at the Court of Appeal.

Udengs Eradiri, the president of IYC, made the call at a news conference on Wednesday in Yenagoa, condemning the exclusion of the opposition lawmakers despite receiving their certificates of return from INEC.

Alfred Belemote (APGA, Brass 2), ‎Gabriel Ogbara (ADC, Ogbia 2) and Gibson Munalayefa (LP, Ogbia 2) were denied admission to the House two months after securing victory.

The leadership of the House of Assembly had come under criticism in the past few weeks over its refusal to administer oath of office on the three State Assembly members.

Mr. Eradiri said the continued exclusion of the three lawmakers from the activities of the Bayelsa House of Assembly was unfair and injustice to the constituents who they represent.

“The non-swearing in of the three honourable members who are Ijaw people and Bayelsa people have become a matter of concern and I call on the leadership of Bayelsa House of Assembly to swear them 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 at the Bayelsa House of Assembly.

“That alone negates the oath of office of the speaker, who took an oath to protect the rights and interests of our people; and when you trample upon the rights of the people it is unacceptable.

“We urge the speaker of Bayelsa 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,” Mr. Eradiri said.

The Speaker of Bayelsa House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson, declined comments on his reported refusal to swear in the lawmakers-elect.

The state Commissioner of Information, Jonathan Obueibite, however distanced the governor, Seriake Dickson, from the controversy, saying the governor never interfered with the affairs of the House.

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