Political Parties Write Bayelsa Assembly Over Refusal To Elect Minority Leader

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APC, APGA, Labour Parties threaten court action

By Osa Okhomina,Yenagoa

Nine opposition Political Parties in Bayelsa State have yesterday slammed the leadership of the State House of Assembly over the alleged refusal to conduct an election that will lead to the emergence of the Minority Leader of the House.

According to the leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC), the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), the Labour Party (LP) and the KOWA party in the state, the absence of a Minority leader in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly has rendered the legislative functions embarked upon since the defection of the Former Minority leader null and void.

Comrade Sunday Frank-Okputu, a one-time State Chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) an a Chieftain of the APC, told newsmen yesterday in Yenagoa, after a closed door meeting of representatives of opposition Political Parties‎,that the failure of the Bayelsa Assembly leadership to elect a minority leader from three opposition Legislators in the house showed “pettiness” and ” violation of House of Assembly rules”

According to Frank-Okputu, ” It is a shmae to note that the Bayelsa Assembly does not have a minority leader despite the fact that they have three members of the House that were elected on the platforms of the APC, APGA and ADC. These are things that are not allowed in a legislative setting.”

“Since the last Minority Leader decamped to the PDP from APGA, the Speaker of the State Assembly under the tutulage of Governor Seriake Dickson have refused to elect a new Minority. Instead of the opposition Political parties to be downcast, it only reaffirm the fact that the House of Assembly is controlled from the State Government House.”

“In the accordance to the rules of the State Assemblies, the Minority leader is nominated from the party with minority seat in the House. He liaises with the Majority Leader and functionaries of the House, leads discussions for the minority party(ies) on major issues, leads other members of opposition party and presides over the parliamentary caucus meetings of his party members in the House.But in Bayelsa Assembly, the opposite is the case.”

” In the past, the opposition parties Legislators were subjected to actions not recognised by law. They were delaye from being sworn-In and refused salaries and allowances for months. Later, they were only paid half as palliative measures. If the Speaker and the Stat Governor claimed they are elected by the people, they should restore all rights and priviledges of the opposition members and allow the election of the Minority leader.