From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The letter written by the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mr Peter Ogunyanwo to Governor Henry Seriake Dickson on threats of security breach due to the refusal of the House of Assembly to swear-in three opposition elected lawmakers is generating ripples in the state.
Ogunyanwo had received a letter from the three opposition lawmakers namely Alfred Belemote (APGA, Brass 2), Gabriel Ogbara (ADC, Ogbia 2) and Gibson Munalayefa (Labour Party, Ogbia 2) requesting for Police protection for members of their constituencies to stage a mega rally to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly to press the demand for the swearing-in of their representatives.
The Police boss aware of the security implications of a rally in Yenagoa at this period wrote to Dickson appealing to him to prevail on the leadership of the House to swear in the affected lawmakers in the interest of peace and justice and to prevent fresh security threat in the state.
Investigations revealed that Dickson had not officially seen the letter when it was published in the media and it caused uneasiness in government circles.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon Jonathan Robinson Obuebite while exonerating Dickson from the impasse in the House said Dickson had never interfered in the activities of the House of Assembly.
Obuebite who said, as a former lawmaker, he has sufficient information on activities in the House explained that the Speaker is the leader of the House and what was happening to the opposition lawmakers has nothing to do with the governor.
He said the state government had not received any letter from Ogunyanwo warning it of impending security threat.
“The Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson has never interfered with the affairs of the State House of Assembly. The State Assembly is not subject to the unilateral control of the state executive. The governor and the government will not interfere in the business of the State Assembly. It is an internal affair and the people should not drag the State Governor into it. As a former legislator, the governor has promoted independence of the legislature and does not interfere. We are not aware of such letter. We heard and read about it on the pages of newspaper like everybody.”
Meanwhile investigations indicated that the office of the Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in reply to a petition sent to it by the three lawmakers would send a letter to the House of Assembly highlighting the implications of its refusal to allow the opposition lawmakers take their lawful seats.