Bayelsa House of Assembly
The Political realignment in Bayelsa state has caught the incumbent Speaker of the state assembly as its first casualty as he is reported to have been impeached on Monday by majority members of the house on the order of the state governor.
The speaker Mr. Tonye Isenah became a sacrificial lamb to balance the political structure of power in the state after the emergence of Senator Douye Diri as the PDP governorship candidate in the upcoming November elections.
Isenah sin is simply that he, unfortunately, happens to come from the same local council as the governorship candidate hence the need to balance the power equation as the two persons from the same council would end up manning two powerful arms of the state government, the executive and the legislature.
In a very tense condition in the house even when the incumbent speaker has organized the removal of the Mace of the house with the aid of his thugs, the state assembly nevertheless went on to impeach him and replace him with Mr.Monday Obolo as the new speaker.
It was reported that sporadic gunshots were heard within the legislative complex in Yenogoa around 11.00 a.m causing panic and apprehension among residents of Amarata and Onopa as the youths who have supported the impeached speaker clash with police.
Mr. Tonye Isenah
Sources claimed that Governor Seriake Dickson had wanted a new speaker from another constituency to balance the political equation in the state. Isenah was said to have rebuffed the entreaty, emboldened by the support base from home.
But yesterday, the speaker of the 24-member legislature had convened at 10:00 am and barely adjourned proceedings indefinitely for fear of being unseated when thugs suspected to be sympathetic to his course invaded the chamber and carted away the mace amid intermittent gunshots.
However, security personnel on the ground stabilised the situation as journalists were ordered out of the complex. Swiftly, the Deputy Speaker, Abraham Nigobere, reconvened the Assembly, resulting in the entertainment of an impeachment motion by Benerd Kenebai on Isenah and was seconded by Naomi Benjamin Ogoli. Kenebai, in urging the removal of the speaker, alleged gross misconduct and dereliction of duties against him.
Accordingly, Isenah was ‘impeached’ with Monday Obolo ‘emerging’ his replacement having earlier been nominated by Ofoji Ogboko with Ogoli seconding once again. In his acceptance speech, Obolo lauded his colleagues for finding him worthy, assuring them that he would deliver the dividends of democracy to the people through adherence to the rule of law.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 10,000 indigenes and residents of Kolokuma/Opokuma council area have taken to the streets of Kaiama, the council headquarters in protest against what they termed “alleged plot” to remove their son, Isenah.
However, it appears such a demonstration would have very little impact in turning back the hand of the clock as the deed appears to have been done. Isenah is now being left to lick his wounds as everything is being done in the governor’s camp to isolate him and his group.