WE 'RE NOT DIVIDED, SAYS BAYELSA HOUSE SPEAKER
The Bayelsa House of Assembly on Wednesday downplayed the protest by some principal officers on Tuesday over the composition of standing committees of the House. The Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Amalanyo Yousou (Brass 3) supported by the Deputy Chief Whip, Walaman Igrubia (Ogbia 3) had to the surprise of the Speaker, Mr. Nestor Binabo, rejected the list on the grounds that majority members of the selection committee were not aware of the final list.
The protest by Yousou had rattled Binabo, who hurriedly called for adjournment to enable the House leadership engage in some fence mending. Sources said immediately the House adjourned, the leadership of the House and members of the selection committee held a meeting where all issues were ironed out to the satisfaction of all members.
Checks indicated that at the centre of the whole issue was the move by old members to retain the chairmanship of their committees and inclusion of those they could trust as members of the committees.
At the resumed sitting of the House on Wednesday, Binabo declared that there was no division among members of the House over the standing committees list. According to him, the protest by a member of the House was in line with democratic principle, which the House firmly respects. While admitting that the list that provoked the protest had been replaced with a new one acceptable to members of the House, Binabo insisted that there was no crack in the House as a protest by a member of the House over an issue does not mean there was division in the Assembly.
'The House is not divided. If a member put up an observation, it does not mean we are divided. The Bayelsa House is a whole and has agreed to work together for the benefit of those we represent.
'We are one and we remain to be one. While we are here to protect the corporate interest of the people, any member has the right to protest. As much as we are building a new society, we need the media to work with us.'
In the new list read on the floor of the House, old members of the House retained their seats as chairmen of committees, while some new members were also allowed to head committees.