- BY GEORGE TUBOR in Port Harcourt•
Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Tonye Isenah, who has been under pressure to vacate office appears to have succumbed to and may have resign on Monday in obedience to the power brokers in his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Barring any last-minute horse-trading, Isenah may hand over to Monday Bubou Obolo, who is the current Majority Leader of the Assembly in a move meant to ensure balance of power as the November 16 governorship election approached.
He had come under immense pressure to quit following the emergence of David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Southern Ijaw as the party’s candidate and Douye Diri, who hails from the same council as the PDP flag bearer, throwing up the need to rearrange the sharing of positions in the PDP to get substantial votes from the area.
The key PDP leaders have been insistent that without the resignation of the Speaker who comes from Kolokuma/Opokuma, the smallest local government in the state, the council would retain the governorship as well as the speakership in the event that Diri, the PDP candidate wins in November.
However, Isenah was said to have insisted that his resignation would not in any way enhance the votes from Southern Ijaw, with the second largest voting population behind Yenagoa, the state capital, maintaining that the deal was for him to step down in February when a governorwould be officially sworn-in.
The Speaker on Friday had a meeting with staff of the House of Assembly to intimate them of the latest development, disclosing thathe did not want to be blamed in the case PDP failed to win the November poll.
The address came after the Speaker who was elected in May, presided over plenary Friday during which some bills, including the Judiciary (Funds Management) Bill, 2019 and the Legislative Funds Management and House of Assembly Service (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bills, 2019, were passed, making them the first under him in the 6th Assembly.
The Lead gathered in Yenagoa, the state capital that mixed reactions were expressed by the workers in the Assembly, during the address, which left many of them brooding after he bade them farewell, and thanked them for the support extended to him as Speaker.
It was further reliably gleaned that members of the Assembly that were present during the Speaker’s briefing were Felix Bonny Ayah, representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 1, and Moses Marlon, representing Southern Ijaw Constituency III.
A few days ago, the Speaker in an apparent show of frustration, warned that his loyalty to the political leaders in the state must not be taken for cowardice and further called on his late mother to guide him as he had found himself at crossroads.