The Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Tonye Isenah has been been impeached amidst sporadic gunshots fired in the Assembly Complex in Yenagoa following his refusal to resign.
In his place, the Leader of the House, Mr Monday Bubou-Obolo, representing the Southern Ijaw Constituency 2, was elected speaker on Monday.
Isenah insisted that he remained the substantive speaker of the House, stressing that “he had neither resigned nor removed.”
Isenah, who is representing Kolokuma/Opokuma Constituency 1, was removed by 17 out of the 18 Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers in the 24-member House.
The impeachment proceeding was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Abraham Ingobere, of the Brass Constituency 3.
The motion for his impeachment was moved by the Deputy Leader of the House, Mr Bernard Kenebai, representing Sagbama Constituency 2.
A mace reportedly brought from the Yenagoa Local Government Council by the lawmaker representing Yenagoa Constituency 1, Mr Oforji Oboku, was used by the legislators to sack Isenah.
Following Kenebai’s motion, Ingobere conducted a voice-vote during which the participating lawmakers chorused in the affirmative leading to Isenah’s removal as speaker.
Isenah and other principal officers of the House were elected on June 6, 2019 when the sixth Bayelsa State House of Assembly was formally inaugurated.
Prior to his removal on Monday, there was a mild drama when the former speaker re-convened a 10-minute plenary and hurriedly adjourned indefinitely.
However, no sooner had he left the Assembly Complex with his supporters than hordes of youths forced their way into the Assembly with gunshots.
Isenah’s removal was a culmination of weeks of speculation that forces within the PDP were bent on having him removed.
Political arrangement to make him speaker was struck during a meeting in June, 2019 by the Restoration Caucus of the PDP led by Governor Seriake Dickson, report says.
However, Isenah insisted on Monday that he remained the Speaker of the state House of Assembly and asked the people to disregard the purported impeachment.
He said; “If the House has adjourned sine die, nothing is to be done again. I presided as Speaker of the House and I have adjourned the House sine die. Anything that happens without me re-convening the House is illegal.”
Meanwhile, the state governor has congratulated Bubou-Obolo.
Dickson, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, described the new speaker as “a promising, young and vibrant political leader.”
He said Bubou-Obolo had the capacity to carry out the sensitive responsibility of presiding over the affairs of the legislative arm of government.
Also, the Peoples Democratic Party Youth Network commended the members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly for their display of maturity and firmness in effecting a leadership of the Assembly on Monday.