The seats of four members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, who defected to the All Progressives Congress recently, have been declared vacant by the Speaker, Hon Kombowei Benson.
The decision was taken by the speaker on Friday, after the four lawmakers declared their decision to join the APC.
The affected lawmakers are Hon.Fini Angaye (Kolokuma/Opokuma constituency 2) Hon.Alfred Egba, (Yenagoa constituency 1), Hon. Victor Prezi (Ekeremor Constituency 3) and Hon. Azibola Paul Omekwe (Ogbia constituency 1).
The four lawmakers, recently at separate media briefings in Abuja, said their decision to defect to APC was hinged on Governor Seriake Dickson’s hijack of the party and factional crises over the suspension of the State Chairman of the PDP, Col. Sam Inokoba (rtd).
However, in declaring the seat of the four members vacant, the Speaker relied on the provision of section 109 sub section 1 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
After the declaration by the Hon. Benson, the state governor issued a statement describing the decision as a step in the right direction.
According to Dickson, the action of the State Legislature was not only constitutional, but will also instil party discipline and sanitize the polity.
Governor Dickson condemned the practice of carpet-crossing at will by politicians without recourse to the parties under which they were elected into positions. He stressed that it was no longer tolerable under a fledgling democracy.
According to him, the State Assembly’s decision would set the pace and show the direction of the new PDP in the State.
He said, “We will continue to do the needful by ensuring that, only those who respect the position of the party on issues are allowed to remain, while all those with selfish and unacceptable behavioral patterns will be shown the way out for the good of the PDP.
“Henceforth, members of the party, if truly they belong to the party, must be held accountable for their actions and in-actions”.
The Bayelsa governor added that party discipline and loyalty must be the overriding principles and factors for all members, pointing out that indiscipline, disloyalty and greed had been the bane of the PDP at both State and National levels in the past, warning that such acts would no longer be condoned for whatever reason in the party.