The Speaker of the Bayelsa State Assembly, Kombowei Benson, last Friday declared that four members of the House have lost their seats over the allegedly unconstitutional defection to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Those affected members of the legislature include Hon.Fini Angaye (Kolokuma/Opokuma constituency 2); Hon.Alfred Egba,(Yenagoa constituency 1); Hon. Victor Prezi (Ekeremor Constituency 3); and Hon. Azibola Paul Omekwe (Ogbia constituency 1).
Mr. Benson said the decision to declare the seats vacant was based on the provision of section 109 sub section 1 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The affected members recently at separate media briefings in Abuja announced their decision to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP} for the APC, alleging the hijack of the party by Governor Seriake Dickson and the factional crises over the suspension of the State Chairman, Col. Sam Inokoba (Rtd).
The governor has described the action of the Assembly as a step in the right direction.
In a statement issued on Friday night by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Governor Dickson said the action was not only constitutional, but will instill party discipline and sanitize the polity.
He condemned the practice where politicians defect at will, without recourse to the parties under which they were elected into positions, saying it was no longer acceptable or practicable under Nigeria’s thriving democracy.
According to him, the State Assembly has by its singular act set the pace and shown the direction of the new PDP in the State, where party discipline and loyalty must be the overriding principles for all members from now on.
He noted that, indiscipline, disloyalty and greed have been the bane of the PDP at the State and National levels, stressing that such behavior would no longer be tolerated for whatever reason in the party.
“We will continue to do the needful by ensuring that, only those who respect the position of the party on issues are allowed to remain, while all those with selfish and unacceptable behavioral patterns will be shown the way out for the good of the PDP. Henceforth, members of the party, if truly they belong to the party, must be held accountable for their actions and in-actions,” he declared.