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Bayelsa Lawmakers Tackle Speaker Over Anti-Jonathan Comments


Speaker Konbowei Benson’s uncomplimentary remarks against President Goodluck Jonathan may have set him on the warpath with members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

It was gathered on Wednesday that the lawmakers, numbering 23, have been spoiling for war with the Speaker for making what they described as “degrading and inciting comments against Mr. President.”

Henry Dickson-2101

Benson was said to have suggested in an interview published by a regional tabloid a fortnight ago that Jonathan was imposing National Assembly and House of Assembly candidates on members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, ahead of the primaries for the 2015 general elections.

He had questioned the rationale behind Jonathan’s action, which he described as undemocratic and against due process.

The lawmakers were said to have also taken exception to Benson’s attack on Emmanuel Paulker, representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District.

Sources said the lawmakers have held several secret meetings in the state capital, Yenagoa, where they deliberated on the issue and roundly condemned the “Speaker’s disrespect” for the President.

One of the lawmakers who attended the meetings declared on Wednesday that “the Speaker is on his own”, adding that his (Benson’s) comments in the interview showed he was working against Jonathan’s re-election project.

“As Speaker of the House in the President’s state, he was expected to galvanise support for the President, instead of making enemies for him,” said the lawmaker, who craved anonymity, adding, “We are not happy with the disposition of the Speaker and we have resolved in our meetings that he should retract every statement he made against Mr. President.”

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