…By Enitan Thompson for TDPel Media.
A faction of the Labour Party (LP) led by Lamidi Apapa has voiced its concerns and threatened to stage a peaceful protest over the alleged deliberate delay in conducting Local Government (LG) elections in Bayelsa State.
Governor Douye Diri and Refusal to Conduct Elections
Lamidi Apapa, the factional chairman of the LP, accused Governor Douye Diri of outright refusal to conduct the elections.
In a statement released in Abuja, Apapa called on the Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission (BYSIEC) to take appropriate action.
Warning of Civil Actions for Electoral Justice
Apapa emphasized that if BYSIEC fails to issue a notice to commence the process of local government elections by the end of the month, the faction will resort to peaceful civil actions aimed at pressuring the governor to fulfill his responsibilities.
The objective is to seek electoral justice and ensure democratic representation for the people of Bayelsa State.
Importance of Local Government for Development and Democracy
Apapa stressed the significance of grassroots development and the role of local government areas in nurturing sustained democracy.
He highlighted the need for LGAs to have effective powers in order to stabilize and strengthen the political system.
Concerns over Withheld Funds and Neglected Local Areas
The LP faction expressed concern that funds intended for local governments in Bayelsa State were being withheld by the state government instead of being allocated to democratically elected local government officials.
This was seen as neglecting the local areas and contradicting the governor’s claims of pursuing a prosperous administration.
Disapproval of Civil Servant Administration and Political Agenda
Apapa criticized the utilization of civil servants to administer local government affairs, considering it an unconventional and backward approach.
He also suggested that the delay in conducting the local council election might be driven by the governor’s political agenda, contrary to his earlier statements of prioritizing the people’s development.
Slow Progress of Judicial Process and Call for Respect of Judiciary
Apapa raised concerns about the slow progress of the ongoing case in Sagbama High Court, Yenagoa, which aims to compel the governor to conduct elections.
He urged Governor Diri to respect the independence of the judiciary, emphasizing its crucial role in his assumption of office.
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