Emergency Rule Imminent in Bayelsa…As Stakeholders Urge Jonathan to Intervene

By Walter Duru
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Following the unending feud between the governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Peremobowei Ebebi, there are strong indications that a state of emergency may be declared in the state soon.

Niger Delta Standard investigations revealed that following series of appeals from well meaning citizens of the state, the Federal government may be considering the declaration of a state of emergency in the state.

Confirming the story, a Presidential source, who spoke on the ground of anonymity argued that the emergency rule option appears to be the ultimate solution to the problem in the state.

According to him, “ You will agree with me that the government of Bayelsa state has proven to be incapable of handling the affairs of the state. There is a near anarchy in the state and you know that no responsible government will fold its arms to watch a dangerous drama like that of Bayelsa continue. Bombs are being thrown. People are being killed and Property destroyed. People now live in fear. The people of Bayelsa state do not deserve what they are getting. They deserve a better deal. They are crying for help and I am sure, help will come. Of course, you know that the state in question is the home state of the President and you don't expect him to watch his people perish. Bayelsa is being governed by vagabonds. It is unfortunate”.

Also reacting, an elder statesman in the state, Chief Ekpein Appah joined other Bayelsa patriots in calling for a state of emergency in the state, describing recent developments as signs of danger.

In a text message made available to our correspondent, Appah, who is a key stakeholder in the state says, “nothing is as chaotic as a state governed by leaders at perpetual loggerheads with each other; and daily terrorizing their own citizens. The anarchy in Bayelsa portends great danger to the peace in the Niger Delta and the nation at large”.

Continuing, he expressed fears that the spate of violence in the state, if not checked, could be disastrous, especially, as the 2011 general elections draw near.

“If the unrestrained recklessness of the governor and his deputy is not checked by the president now before the elections, Bayelsa will explode into an inferno unimaginable during the elections. The solution: The president should declare a state of emergency in Bayelsa and continue to extend it till the elections are over, to silence and sideline these thoughtless leaders who have become a burden on all of us. The emergency declaration in the President's own state shall serve as a stern warning to all, of the president's resolve to instill discipline in the polity”.

On whether an emergency rule will not conflict with democratic principles, Appah says, “No. It will not. In fact, state of emergency is a basic ingredient built into the democratic system to check lawlessness authored by elected leaders who have lost direction and can no longer maintain and guarantee security of lives and property in their domain. The President as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces mandatorily steps in as the highest authority to provide solace to his people”.

On the role of political leaders and elders of the state in the crises, he lamented that “Bayelsa is bereft of leaders who can convocate a peoples' summit to arrest this shameful descent into anarchy within the ambit of the law”, insisting that state of emergency is the only solution.

Adding his voice, a Civil Servant who does not want his name on print lamented over what he described as the height of irresponsibility in governance. He blamed the woes of the state of political god fathers, whom he claimed, imposed the present crop of leaders on the masses.

He however urged stakeholders to unite and deliver the state from its present pitiable state, even as he expressed optimism that a divine intervention shall come.

“But, come to look at it. A state where civil servants are being owed for months. Political leaders are on exile. Bombs and explosives are being thrown and nothing is being done. This is unbearable. In fact, the governor and his deputy are God's special punishments for people of the state, so that we don't allow a repeat of such, especially, as 2011 draws near. Bayelsans must never sell their votes again. We shall resist imposition of candidates with the last drop of our blood. Enough is enough”, he stressed.

It would be recalled that the lingering political conflict in the state came to a head last week, as explosives were thrown within the state, following the controversial move to impeach the deputy governor by the state house of assembly.