There is rising anger within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa state over the decision of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson to back out of the Federal House of Representative race and seek 5th term in office.
Hon. Kombowei Benson, who had served as member of the State House of Assembly in the last 16 years and emerged Speaker in the last eight years, was reported to have confirmed his decision to seek for 5th term as assembly member following claims of being prevailed upon by his constituents.
It was learnt that though he was alleged to have decided to seek for governorship and later House of Representatives, his decision during the stakeholders meeting held on Wednesday has thrown the party into disarray as other aspirants kicked against his claim of endorsement by his rivals.
Benson told newsmen, after the meeting, that the people of Southern Ijaw constituency 4 and some assembly aspirants had endorsed him and stepped down for him to run for 5th term.
About six other aspirants have, however, dismissed the Bayelsa Speaker’s claim.
Contacted on the development, one of the leading aspirants to replace the Bayelsa Speaker in 2019, Dr Michael Amaegberi, denied the claims that other aspirants have stepped down from contesting the forthcoming House of Assembly election in Southern Ijaw local government area constituency 4.
According to Dr. Amaegberi, the claim is malicious and intended to distract the public and particularly the good people of the constituency from the real issues surrounding the contest for that seat.
He said: “To keep the records straight, we wish to clarify that while Mr. Speaker, Rt Hon. Konbowei Benson was speaking at the constituency’s stakeholders meeting, he jokingly said Dr. Amaegberi and another aspirant have in separate occasions agreed to step down for him during his ongoing consultations to contest for the seat for a record 4th term.
“It was a huge joke that our principal promptly refuted on the spot even though he was not given the opportunity to address or debunk it the way he would have loved to.
“Let us use this medium to further reiterate and reaffirm Dr Amaegberi’s resolve to effect positive changes and provide purposeful representation for our dear constituency. Like he said in his declaration speech, his aspiration is anchored on three pillars: to rebuild trust, re-establish unity and rekindle hope in our constituency.
“With all humility and modesty, we make bold to say that Dr Amaegberi has a DIVINE ASSIGNMENT to complete and he is the aspirant to beat in the forthcoming election in SILGA constituency 4 so it will be foolhardy for anyone to think that he will step down for anybody no matter how highly placed or influential he or she may be.”
“Finally, the election is a like game or contest that only one person will win. Dr Amaegveri will only respect the will of the delegates or our people after the last ballot is cast. We therefore urge our teeming supporters to remain resolute, steadfast and focused in all they are doing to market the best electoral brand in the constituency. Victory is sure to come and we will all rejoice at the end.”
“Please let the public and our people be aware that we are not in any war of words with anybody; we are only setting the records straight. For this reason, we want to say that Dr Amaegberi is free to interact, discuss and even visit the houses of his fellow aspirants if need be because the election is not a do or die matter. It will come and go but the friendships established over the years will remain. Dr Amaegberi is a believer of politics without bitterness.”