From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and aides of Governor Douye Diri in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State are at logger-heads over the zoning arrangement for the 2023 election.
Already the tension generated by the brewing crisis has forced Diri to issue a stern warning to his appointees to resign if they want to engage politicking ahead 2023 of they would be fired.
The senate and the federal constituency seats for Bayelsa West are usually rotated between Ekeremor and Sagbama Local Government Areas.
Former governor Henry Seriake Dikson from Sagbama is currently representing Bayelsa Senatorial district to complete the tenure of incumbent deputy governor, Lawrence Ewhudjapko , while Hon Fredrick Agbedi is representing Sagbama/ Federal Constituency.
However the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders from Ekeremor under the aegis of Ekeremor Elders Forum issued a communiqué to reaffirm the zoning arrangement declaring that it is the turn of Ekeremor to produce the Senator to represent the zone.
The meeting attended by PDP leaders in the area including a lawmaker and aides of Governor Diri argued that they would resist any attempt to truncate the zoning arrangement and throw the senatorial district into disarray.
In a swift reaction another set of PDP leaders from the area led by the deputy-speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Micheal Ogbere and some commissioners in the Diri administration held a counter meeting declaring that the zoning arrangement is not sacrosanct.
The communiqué issued after meeting noted that the zoning arrangement has been violated stressing that zoning has become unnecessary and would be jettisoned.
According to them in 2023, the people would vote for competence and a candidate of choice irrespective local government.
Diri speaking before the weekly state Executive Council meeting in Government House on Wednesday cautioned his appointees against early politicking ahead of the 2023 elections, saying he would not hesitate to sack any of them found wanting.
He wondered why appointees would be involved in open politicking when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not even released a timetable for elections.
The state helmsman urged members of his cabinet interested in open politicking at this time, especially those from Bayelsa West Senatorial District, to resign or be ready to be sacked.
His words: “I find it very difficult to believe that appointees in this government have already started open politicking.
“Yes, it is the constitutional right of anybody to contest but even the Bible tells us that there is time for everything. At this time, we are trying to stamp our feet to meet up our campaign promises to our people.”
“I hereby caution all those involved to immediately withdraw. If you are prepared to continue with this government, you must listen to the music of this administration. We are not prepared to start politicking from this year.”