Bayelsa Assembly Under Dickson’s Control? | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bayelsa Assembly Under Dickson’s Control?

Posted: Apr 16, 2016 at 3:22 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Igoniko Oduma
Indications have emerged that the Bayelsa State House of Assembly may be tied to the apron string of the governor of the state, Seriake Dickson.
An investigation showed that the House of Assembly is acting according to the whims and caprices of the governor.
The House Assembly last February approved the governor’s request to appoint 15 special advisers, barely five days after he was swore-in for his second tenure.
In his letter of request to the Assembly, he cited Section 196 Subsections 1,2 and 3 of the 1999 Constitution to seek the approval of the Assembly to appoint the special advisers.
But checks on Friday showed that Dickson has sworn in over 20 special advisers without recourse to the House of Assembly for the additional number of aides.
It would be recalled that shortly after the Assembly’s approval, precisely on February 19, the governor through a statement by Daniel Iworiso-Markson, his Chief Press Secretary, announced the approval of the appointment of two special advisers.
They were Boma Spero-Jack on Security Matters and Francis Agbo on Media Relations. The former had served in the same capacity during Dickson’s first tenure while the latter was his media consultant.
A mild drama played out on February 26 when the governor swore in Spero-Jack and Agbo as he, at the ceremony, instantly re-appointed Timipre Seipulou, his immediate past special adviser on Treasury, Revenue and Accounts, as he stepped into the Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall, Government House, Yenagoa, venue of the event.
Again, on March 13 Dickson swore in another batch of 18 special advisers bringing the total number of special advisers whose appointments are publicly known to 21.
He also swore in 14 commissioners, as he formally constituted the State Executive Council (SEC) for his second tenure in office.
There has been concern in Bayelsa that Dickson is leading the Assembly by the nose as the leadership of the legislature is believed to be resorting to him over certain issues.
For instance, it is believed that the refusal of the Assembly under the speakership of Konbowei Benson to swear-in three lawmakers-elect, three months after they collected their certificates of return from INEC, following Appeal Court judgments in their favour, is masterminded by the governor.
The three lawmakers-elect are APGA’s Belemote Watson (Brass 2), Gabriel Ogbara of ADC (Ogbia 3) and LP’s Munalayefa Gibson (Ogbia 2).
While the trio had been waiting to be administered the oaths of allegiance and office, Benson (Southern Ijaw 4) and Michael Ogbere (Ekeremor 3), both of the PDP who won rerun elections on 5 March, following the nullification of their April 2015 elections by the appellate court, were sworn in on 15 March, about 10 days after the rerun and four days after they collected their certificates of return from INEC.
Already, the state Police Command has written a letter to Dickson warning him of possible breakdown of law and order in the state if the Assembly continually refuses to swear-in the three members-elect.
The command in the letter dated April 11 and signed by Peter Ogunyanwo, the Commissioner of Police, noted that failure of the legislature to administer oaths of allegiance and office on the lawmakers-elect, despite the court rulings, was generating tension in the state.