The battle for the control of the Southern Ijaw Local Government Coucnil area of Bayelsa State between loyalsist of President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Timipre Sylva yesterday deepened with the resolution of the members of the Legislative arm of the arm of the council to empower the Vice Chairman, Hon. Felix Bony-Ayah as the Acting Chairman of the Council area of the State.
Also the Leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state also announced the suspension of the Chairman of the Party at the Local Government, Ben Foreman for alleged anti-party activity and threats against loyal party supporters in the council area.
The resolution of the legislative arm of the Council was taken following the invocation of the Section 45 sub sec 2 of the Constitution over the long absence of the Council Chairman, Chief Tiwe Orunimighe from office and his refusal to refusal to appear before a 7-man Disciplinary Committee set up by the Local Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The members of the legislative arm said though every efforts have been made to confirm the whereabouts of the Council Chairman in the last few weeks, the effect of the prolong absence of the council boss is affecting the administrative work of the council and the non-payment of salary and allowances of workers of the local government in the last two months.
The resolution taken followed the reading of the petition submitted before the Legislative arm the Vice Chairman of the Council, Hon. Felix Bony-Ayah by the Chief Whip, Hon. Perelade Jones-Ere.
Confirming the development, the Leader of the Legislative Committee on Information and Conflict Resolution, Hon. Oyinkoro Kene said the members of the legislative arm after an exhaustive deliberation on the petition against the Council Chairman discovered that all issues raised against him were correct.
According to him,”we even got a newspaper publication reporting that the Council Chairman is being hunted by the operatives of the anti-graft agency. We have summoned him but he is nowhere to be found. We also believe that governance cannot be in a vacuum. Our people want us to report back. Now, for the last two months, salary has not been paid. There is nothing for us to do but to invoke the relevant portion of the constitution.”
“The absence of the Council Chairman was done without due process and according to section 145 sub sect 2, we have resolved to make the Vice Chairman to act in the capacity of the Chairman. We are pleading with the people of the Southern Ijaw Area and Bayelsan to rally round the Vice Chairman because the Chairman is nowhere to be found. It is a fraudulent act for a council boss to disappear from duty. If the Chairman refuses to surface within the next 90 days, the Vice Chairman would be made the substantive Chairman.”
The members of the Legislative arm of the Council has however adjourned and went on recess to resume sitting on the 9th of January,2011.
Meanwhile the Leadership of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the State yesterday received the resolution of the members of the Executive Committee of the Party in the Local Government suspending the Chairman, Mr. Ben Foreman, over alleged anti-party activity.