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At last, Bayelsa Assembly new speaker holds first plenary


Peace returned to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on Friday after the rancour that heralded the ouster of its Speaker, Emmanuel Tonye Isenah.

The new Speaker of the House, Monday Obolo, reconvened the Assembly for the first time and deliberated on issues affecting oil-producing and impacted communities in the state.

Isenah was removed in controversial circumstances on September 30 following his refusal to relinquish his position in line with purported agreement he reached with leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) including Governor Seriake Dickson.

But Isenah, who developed cold feet, despite giving indications that he would step aside, denied reaching such agreement with his party leaders.

On the day he was expected to resign, Isenah, who presided over the sitting, surprisingly and unilaterally adjourned the House sine die and asked the lawmakers to embark on recess.

However, other lawmakers led by Obolo reconvened the House and impeached Isenah, who later described his removal as illegal and unconstitutional insisting that he remained the speaker of the House.

But the lawmakers reconvened on Friday with Obolo presiding and the House concluded its plenary without violence.

Obolo, who spoke shortly after the pleanry, said there was no division among the lawmakers insisting that they were United.

He said: “It is one united Bayelsa State House of Assembly. The Assembly is meant to argue, debate. I want to assure you that there are no cracks, we are united. The proceedings of the House went very well. The immediate speaker is part and parcel of this family. There is no love lost.

Speaker on the business of the House, he said: “The motion touched on the fabrics of our livelihood. We are oil-producing state and the motion centred on the issue of Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) entered into with oil communities. It is very key.

“Five years ago, there was an understanding in which the impacted communities were part of the GMOU. Five years later the impacted communities were excluded. When spills occur it doesn’t affect only in the communities that produce oil. It affects nearby communities.

“The import of the motion is that all the impacted communities should be part of the GMOU. Those excluded should be included in the GMOU. House members will consult among themselves”.

Isenah in a terse message to the people of the state appreciated them for the love they had so far shown to him.

He said: “Your love for me is immeasurable and will certainly not be taken for granted. He who fights and run away will certainly live to fight another day. It’s good to be a living hero than to be a dead hero. I love you all”.


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