Posted by By Samuel Oyadongha on
THE new leadership of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly said yesterday that Monday’s removal of the Speaker and his deputy did not mean that the Assembly would impeach embattled Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. It said its concern for now was to empower Deputy Governor Goodluck Jonathan as acting governor.
*Our goal is to empower the deputy governor, he says
YENAGOA— THE new leadership of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly said yesterday that Monday’s removal of the Speaker and his deputy did not mean that the Assembly would impeach embattled Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. It said its concern for now was to empower Deputy Governor Goodluck Jonathan as acting governor.
In separate interviews with Vanguard at Government House, Yenagoa shortly after the day’s sitting held behind closed doors from which some lawmakers and journalists were barred, the new Speaker, Mr Peremobowei Ebebi, and leader of the House, Mr Steve Ereboh, said Alamieyeseigha remained the governor of the state for now.
Impeaching the former speaker, Mr Boyelayefa Debekeme and his deputy, Mr Jepthah Foingha, according to them, did not really mean the commencement of impeachment process of the governor.
"What we have come to correct is the inconsistency at attending sittings. We want to work for Bayelsans and we have succeeded in removing the ineptitude of the leadership of the House," Mr Ebebi said.
"The impeachment of the governor is not an issue for now. We have not considered it. But as soon as possible we are going to regularise that of the deputy governor into fully becoming the acting governor. Since the case is in court, our hands are tied until we see the outcome of the case but if there is a report that we should look into the allegations that are raised against the governor, we shall look into them and if they are impeachable offences, we will act.
"The absence of the governor has a telling effect on the activities of the state. There is a vacuum and that is why we are saying that the deputy governor is to be promoted to acting governor. The absence of the governor has impacted negatively on all facets of life. The powers of the deputy governor are limited."
The speaker who insisted that the impeachment of the governor was not on the agenda of the House said they were yet to receive EFCC's report on the matter. "All the allegations against Alamieyeseigha are on the pages newspapers. We need to be in possession of them and make them a document of the House before we can look into them. We cannot do anything based on newspaper reports," he said and dismissed reports that the House was under pressure to commence impeachment process of the governor.
On the allegation that members were offered N5 million each to effect the change in the leadership of the House to pave the way for the impeachment of the governor, he said there was no iota of truth in the allegation, stressing that the action was purely to let the public know that the House was not ready to carry out its legitimate duty of complementing the effort of the executive in providing good governance for Bayelsans.
Also speaking, the leader of the House, Mr Ereboh said there were allegations against the former leadership of the House which necessitated their removal, stressing that their removal was not targeted at the governor as being speculated in some quarters.
Meanwhile, the House sitting was held behind closed doors with some lawmakers barred from attending. Journalists were also not spared as they were turned back at the gate by stern-looking security operatives said to be acting on order from above.
The lawmakers were driven to the Assembly in the same coaster bus with Bayelsa State government number plate BYGH101 at about 10a.m. Their deliberation was said to have centred on the need to elevate Dr. Jonathan to the status of acting governor.