A Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner and public affairs analyst, Barr Chioma Choko has blamed the indiscriminate defection of politicians in the country from one political party to another on openings created in the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) with regard to the subject matter.
Barr Choko made the assertion while exchanging views with The Tide in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, recently.
According to the lawyer, even though the constitution talks about the incidence of a division or crisis within a political party as a condition precedent for an elected member to move from his political party to another, the same constitution is not clear about what constitutes a division or crisis.
“Yes, we acknowledge that there are provisions (in the constitution) that allow a particular candidate (elected member) to move without approaching the court, the provisions of the law regulating this particular activity is not clear as to the definition of certain acts of that particular political party that can be concluded by members of the public to mean acts that are inconsistent with the rules and regulations of the political party,” he said, adding that “this, as a matter of fact, has given leeway to political party members who would want to move from where they say they’re no longer comfortable to a particular political party where they feel that their interest will be secured”.
With specific reference to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers in the Imo State House of Assembly who defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, Barr Choko, who is also a member of the APC in Rivers State said the legislators action could only be self-serving.
“In the case of Imo State, a large number of the society will agree with me that what is playing out there cannot be said to mean crisis in the political party that should warrant the defection of members of that political party.
“The members that have left the PDP for the APC do not have a good excuse or reason for which they have elected to so do. So, I have reason to conclude that these persons are not serving the interest of democracy.
“They, at every point in time, seem to be protecting their personal interest rather than the interest of their constituencies. They seem to be protecting their pockets. They seem to be protecting whatever monetary interests that may accrue to them as members of that particular house”, he argued.
Asked if he was excited to see the defectors move into the APC, the party stalwart said beyond swelling the numerical strength of the party and providing possible cover for the chief executive of the state, there was nothing useful to expect from them.
“If you look at the integrity of these persons, the question we will have to ask ourselves is ‘what do they really have to offer?
“These are persons who are coming to extract from the political party; they’re coming to extract from the executive arm of the government; they’re coming to benefit from where they did not work; they’re coming to rip off the state’s resources. So, it is not a good reason for me to rejoice for anything. They have nothing to offer”, he said.
By: Opaka Dokubo
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
COVID-19: Dep Speaker Empowers PPE Producers, Underprivileged In Ahoada East LGA …Ready To Partner UNICEF
CROSIEC Deploys About 8,000 Personnel For LG Elections
Featured3 days ago
Our Development Agenda Is State-Wide- Rivers State Governor, Wike
News2 days ago
COVID-19: NCDC Confirms 5 Cases In C’River, As FG Dispatched 17-Member Team For Authentication
News2 days ago
Rivers State Government Suspends Community Development Committee Elections
Featured3 days ago
Rivers State Government Lifts Lockdown On Bonny, Onne
News9 hours ago
Bayelsa Govt Advises Retirees To Remain Calm, Stop Lobbying For Payment Of Gratuity
Featured2 days ago
Governor Wike Is Building The Future For Rivers State – Nsirim …To Collaborate With CoolWazobiaInfo On Development Reportage
News1 day ago
Bayelsa State Governor Diri Tasks Army On Agge, Oluasiri Bases …Seeks Cooperation On Arrests In Communities
News4 days ago
COVID-19: Health Professionals Call For Investigation Into Testing Claims Of CRSG