Bayelsa West: IPAC expresses worry over rising political wrangling over zoning

Yenagoa—The Leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Bayelsa State has expressed concern over the rising wrangling among politicians from Sagbama/Ekeremor Local Government Areas over the zoning of National Assembly seats, Leadership newspaper reports.

According to IPAC, despite the pre-existing zoning arrangement among political actors in the area, the wrangling among politicians from Bayelsa West Senatorial district is threatening the peace and order in the area and can lead to bloodshed before and after the National Assembly elections.

The Chairman of IPAC in Bayelsa, Brisibe Kpodoh, in a statement issued on Friday in Yenagoa, argued that​ political parties in the state have watched with dismay the rumbling of politicians in Sagbama/Ekeremor concerning the issue of zoning of political positions in the West Senatorial district of the State.

The statement reads;

“IPAC wondered why politicians always want to consider their interest over and above all other considerations.

“IPAC is calling for restraints and cautions all politicians in Sagbama and Ekeremor to respect the zoning arrangement and stop heating up the polity as we approach the forthcoming general elections.

“IPAC is equally appealing to the elders and traditional rulers to stop and call politicians to order in their utterances and rhetorics and avoid putting their followers to take the laws into their hands and cause any breakdown of law and order in the senatorial district.

“IPAC recalled that the issue of zoning in the Bayelsa West Senatorial district that the subject of zoning is a pre-existing arrangement of the National Assembly seats have been decided, greed and documented many times since the present political dispensation that has been unwritten but affirmed zoning arrangement between the people of Sagbama/Ekeremor is no longer news.

“It should be placed on record that though there is no zoning formula or provision in the 1999 constitution (as amended) and yet the good people of Sagbama/Ekeremor have consciously respected this agreement.

“Begining from the 4th Republic, based on this unwritten zoning arrangement, Senator Emmanuel Diffa and Senator John. K . Brainbaifa went to the Senate from Sagbama Local Government area between 1999 to 2007, while late Hon. Clement Anlie and Hon. Christopher Enai represented Ekeremor Local Government Area in the Federal House of Representatives in the same period.

“Again, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri from Ekeremor was in the Senate and Hon. Seriake Dickson and Hon. Stella Dorgu from Sagbama was in the Federal House of Representatives from 2007 and 2015. A meeting of stakeholders from the two local government areas met in 2015 and resolved to affirm the zoning arrangement to ensure peaceful and harmonious political cohabitation.

“Again, on Saturday, July 18th, 2020, at Sagbama town another round of meeting was convened to reiterate and stress the importance of the zoning arrangement and continue the political desire for power. Some of the resolutions reached and agreed upon are contained in this communique signed in 2020.”

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