Bayelsa state elders and opinion leaders on Monday urged the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties to respect the principles of zoning in electing their candidates for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
The stakeholders, who spoke under the auspices of the Progressives of the Central Senatorial District (PCSD), after their meeting in Yenagoa, said the principle of rotating the office of the governor was initiated by the founding fathers of Bayelsa.
The opinion leaders comprising former lawmakers, lawyers and former government appointees said they were constraint to cry out after widely consulting other stakeholders in their senatorial districts following feelers that some persons were making a case against the principle.
Reading a written speech signed by 15 of them, the stakeholders traced the creation of Bayelsa saying the founding fathers in their wisdom established by consensus the principle of rotating the governorship office among the three senatorial districts.
They said: “Bayelsa state was created in 1996 form the collective struggle and sacrifices of the founding fathers of the State. In their wisdom they established by consensus the principle to zone and rotate the office of the governor of the state amongst the three senatorial district of the state; to wit: Bayelsa Central, Bayelsa East and Bayelsa West Senatorial districts.
“From inception of democracy in 1999 to date this mutual principle has been practiced satisfactorily to the overall good of the people of the State. Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, first civilian Governor ruled from May 1999 to December 2005 from Bayelsa Central Senatorial District
“Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as he then was became Governor from December 2005 to May 2007 as the second civilian Governor. He is from Bayelsa East Senatorial district. Chief Timipre Sylva therefore succeeded Dr. Jonathan from the same Senatorial district. He covered the period May 2007 to February 2012.
“The current Governor Seriake Dickson emerged governor following from the same principle. He is from Bayelsa West Senatorial District”.
They lamented that the good and beneficial principle of zoning was about being truncated, deprecated, jettisoned and completely destroyed by self-interest seeking politicians.
The stakeholders insisted that following the age-long principle, the governorship position should naturally move back to the central senatorial district.
They said: “It is a natural order to protect the above espoused fair principle for the good of our people by ensuring that the governorship move now back to the central senatorial district of the state.
“It is in our full and unencumbered resolve to protect and achieve the adherence and implementation of the principle in favor of the central senatorial district of Bayelsa state that we have not only advised ourselves but also taken up the gauntlet to speak on behalf of our humble selves and the people.
“This is now the clarion call demand and appeal we place before the leadership and Bayelsans in political parties Peoples Democratic party (PDP), All Progressive Congress (APC) and other leading parties at both national and state levels to uphold the principle of zoning and rotating established by the funding fathers.
“Consequent upon the above expressed positions, we solicit all people of goodwill to do everything in their utmost power and disposition to help preserve what has worked well for Bayelsa state”.
Those, who signed the statement, are Charles Ambaiowei, Emalah Gentle, Chief Job Darius, Warmate Jones Idikio, Renner Tiebiri, Elder Imiengiyefa Israel Igbori, Goodwin Peter Worukumo, Victor Akenge, Couple Amyamalem and Chief Natus Zebakame.
Others are Godson Torukuru , Matthias Odogu, Gilbert Imoladei Adeh, Jackson Ebi Suokiri and Ebiye Tarabina.