Three leading candidates emerge as race to assembly speakership hots up

BAYELSA -Three leading candidates have emerged in the race for the seat of the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

The candidates include Hon. Tonye Isenah representing Kolokuma / Opokuma constituency 1, Hon. Monday Bubou Obolo of the Southern Ijaw Constituency 2 and Hon. Ebiuwou Koku Obiyai of Yenagoa constituency 2. gathered that while Isenah and Obolo are three term legislators, Obiyah, who is a female legislator, is a two term assembly member.

The three legislators are from the Central Senatorial district where the speakership was zoned in order to ensure the completion of the tenure of the incumbent Speaker, Hon. Kombowei Benson, who contested the Federal House of Representative election and lost.

Investigation revealed that though the three candidates are members of the Restoration political group oiled by the state governor, Hon.Seriake Dickson, the decision on who emerges is dependent on the support of the state governor.

It was, however, gathered that the initial choice of Hon.Tonye Isenah was met with stiff opposition by other members due to his alleged pride and showmanship among other legislators.

Sources told journalists that many of the legislators are tilted towards the emergence of Hon. Monday Bubou Obolo.

Many are, however, silent on the role the incumbent Deputy Speaker, Hon. Abraham Infinite from Brass Constituency 4 will play in all these. He won re-election for the third term during the last State Assembly poll in the state.

Another source said that the support for Hon. Monday Bubou Obolo is based on the need to balance power within the Bayelsa Central District.

According to him, “Since the Kolokuma/Opokuma local government has produced Senator Douye Diri, Yenagoa local government area produces Hon. Steve Azaiki. Southern Ijaw local government, where the incumbent Speaker comes from has no Federal elected officer with the incumbent Speaker loosing out during the poll.

“The emergence of Hon. Monday Bubou Obolo will assuage the people of Southern Ijaw area pending the conduct of governorship election by November 2nd”.

The race to occupy the principal offices of the State House of Assembly has also led members to amend the House rule with new comer allowed to contest for various positions including the seat of Speaker.

The members of the Bayelsa State Assembly had during the amendment tagged Bill on the standing rules of the House (Act 15 BYSHA),threw open the seats of the principal offices to anyone interested in contesting, including first timers.

In the amendment, any first time assembly member, without any sitting record in the sacred floors, can hold principal offices in the House.

Principal seat open for contest include that of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Leader, Deputy leader, Chief Whip (majority) and Deputy Chief Whip (minority).

Also in the amendment, such beneficiary of choice positions can also handle or chair any of the key House committees by the powers of this bill.

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