•As HDP asks court to abort Bayelsa poll
By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
The people of Southern Ijaw communities have thrown their weight behind the re-election bid of the incumbent governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, describing his visit to all the communities in the area as historic.
The Governor during his three-day community to community campaign, visited Koluama I and II, Foropa, Ukubie, Ogboinbiri, Olugbobiri and Korokorosei, Igbomotoru, Peremabiri and Azuzuama.
Meanwhile, Hope Democratic Party (HDP) has approached the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, asking it to abort the governorship election.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/904/2015, the party urged the court to nullify the election guidelines and timetable released by INEC on July 10, 2015, on the ground that they offended section 153 and 159 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Aside HDP, the suit which was equally endorsed by Chief Bulus Wombu and Hon. King George as co-plaintiffs , has INEC as the sole defendant.
In all the communities visited, the people came out in their numbers to give the campaign train a rousing reception with drumming, singing and dancing to solidarity songs.
Commending the Governor for his developmental strides, especially the on-going Yenagoa-Oporoma Road, the affected communities said when completed the road would attract local and foreign investors to the area.
The Tovernor, according to them, has been able to impact on all the communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area adding that his achievement in the area of security is unequalled.
“The Restoration government has been able to curtail the activities of sea pirates on our waterways, while the issue of illegal oil bunkering in the area is gradually becoming a thing of the past,” the Governor said.
The communities which make up ward 16 assured the Governor of their determination to give their votes’ en block to the PDP, adding, “we had held tenaciously to the PDP in rain and shine in times past and no amount of flattery, deceit or bait can sway our concrete resolve. History will vindicate you and the Tubo people. We are for the PDP and nothing else.”
They, however, appealed to the Governor to construct the Toru-Ebeni –Ukubie-Lobia Road, reconstruct the abandoned Ukubie General Hospital and canalize the Azuzuama River linking Ikebiri 1 community.
At Koluama, a onetime Commissioner for Housing Development under the Dickson-led administration eulogized the Governor for giving the communities a sense of belonging.
Responding, Governor Seriake Dickson expressed delight over their show of support and promised to look into their request.
HDP in its prayer filed through their lawyer, Mr. Tony Esiegbe, they prayed the court to, among other things, “determine whether by virtue of section 153 and 159 of the 1999 Constitution, INEC, operating with two out of nine National Electoral Commissioners, could be said to have formed a quorum to issue a valid time table and guidelines for the conduct of governorship election in Bayelsa State to warrant excluding the plaintiffs to participate in the said elections scheduled to hold on December 5, 2015, or thereafter.” They applied for an order setting aside INEC’s guideline dated June 19, 2015, issue and direct that a new date be set for the Bayelsa governorship election through a validly initiated and scheduled programme and guideline.
Meantime, no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.
They urged the court to resolve the issue of whether INEC, having not formed quorum as required by the provisions of section 153 and 159 of the 1999 Constitution, has the power to fix a date for the Bayelsa governorship election.
The plaintiffs beseeched the court to invalidate the guideline and timetable already issued for the election by INEC.
Besides, the plaintiffs are praying the court to determine whether by virtue of section 221 and 229 of the 1999 Constitution and section 31 of the Electoral Act 2010, the plaintiffs are not entitled to field and sponsor candidate in a validly scheduled Bayelsa governorship election without the defendant disqualifying or rejecting submitted candidates for the election.
They want the court to further determine whether INEC, by virtue of section 31 of Electoral Act, 2010, has power to reject submitted list of nominated candidates by the plaintiff for a scheduled election.
More so, the litigants sought a declaration that the defendant, without forming quorum or operating with at least five National Electoral Commissioners, cannot validly fix a date and set guidelines for the Bayelsa governorship election and seek to conduct same.
They are seeking a declaration that the guideline and dates as set and issued on June 19, by the Defendant for the Bayelsa governorship election for December 5, was invalid and unconstitutional.
Likewise, the plaintiffs prayed the high court to declare that they are entitled to field and sponsor candidates for a validly scheduled Bayelsa governorship elections.