The Bayelsa State chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), has expressed concern over the rising wrangling among politicians from the West Senatorial district, comprising Sagbama/Ekeremor Local Government areas over the zoning of National Assembly seats.
IPAC said despite the pre-existing zoning arrangement among political actors in the area, the wrangling among politicians from the Bayelsa West Senatorial district is threatening the peace and order in the area and may lead to bloodshed before and after the National Assembly elections.
The Chairman of IPAC in Bayelsa, Brisibe Kpodoh, in a statement issued to the media on Friday in Yenagoa, argued that the political parties in the state have watched with dismay the rumbling of politicians in the Sagbama/Ekeremor concerning the issue of zoning of political positions in the West Senatorial district of the state.
IPAC said, ” it wondered why politicians always want to consider their interest over and above all other considerations. IPAC is calling for restraints and cautions all politicians in Sagbama and Ekeremor to respect the zoning arrangement and stop heating up the polity as we approach the forthcoming general elections.”
“IPAC is equally appealing to the elders and traditional rulers to stop and call politicians to order in their utterances and rhetorics and avoid putting their followers to take the laws into their hands and cause any breakdown of law and order in the Senatorial district.”
IPAC recalled that the issue of zoning in the Bayelsa Senatorial district is a pre-existing arrangement of the National Assembly seats that have been decided, agreed and documented many times since the present political dispensation.
“It should be placed on record that though there is no zoning formula or provision in the 1999 constitution (as amended) and yet the good people of Sagbama/Ekeremor have consciously respected this agreement. Beginning from the 4th republic, based on this unwritten zoning arrangement. Senator Emmanuel Diffa and Senator John .K. Brainbaifa went to the Senate from Sagbama Local Government area between 1999 to 2007, while late Hon. Clement Anlie and Hon. Christopher Email represented Ekeremor Local Government Area in the Federal House of Representatives in the same period.”
“Again, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri from Ekeremor was in the Senate and Hon. Seriake Dickson and Hon. Stella Dorgu from Sagbama were in the Federal House of Representatives from 2007 and 2015. A meeting of stakeholders from the two local government areas met in 2015 and resolved to affirm the zoning arrangement to ensure peaceful and harmonious political cohabitation.”
“Again, on Saturday, July 18th, 2020, at Sagbama town another round of meeting was convened to reiterate and stress the importance of the zoning arrangement and continue the political desire for power. Some of the resolutions reached and agreed upon are contained in this communique signed in 2020”.
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