Bayelsa backs INEC on deregistration of political parties

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The Bayelsa Government has expressed support for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on its deregistration of political parties that fail to fulfill provisions of the Electoral Act and the Constitution.

The state’s Deputy Governor, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made this known when he met the newly elected state executive committee of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Yenagoa, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

In a press statement issued on Wednesday by the Senior Special Adviser to the Deputy Governor, Mr Doubara Atasi, he explained that government’s position on the issue was due to its belief in the rule of law and need to strengthen the country’s democracy.

Ewhrudjakpo congratulated the IPAC state executives and called for effective collaboration between the present administration and the council.

He said the call had become imperative as government alone could not meet the aspirations of the people.

Ewhrudjakpo expressed concern over the one year tenure of the executives as allowed by IPAC Constitution, as the duration might be too short for them to execute their programmes and projects.

He urged IPAC to review its constitutional provisions on tenure of office, to make for impactful leadership and reduce the high level of acrimony and litigation that characterised its transition process.

Ewhrudjakpo also advised the IPAC executives to be accountable and transparent and to ensure they bequeathed a worthy legacy to their successors.

“We also want to make it very clear that we will not work with any political party that has been deregistered or will be deregistered by INEC.

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“This is because we believe in the rule of law and we must do away with the issue of mediocrity for true political development to take place.

“I think it will be necessary for IPAC to amend its constitution because where there is a high level of turnover, it makes it difficult for an organization to succeed in that context.

“Personally, I think five year- tenure is enough for you to do whatever you want to do and leave the stage for others to step in and offer what they have,” he said.

Presenting the new executives to the deputy governor, Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Chief Collins Cocodia expressed gratitude to stakeholders for what he described as the first ever hitch-free transition of IPAC in the state.

Also, the Special Adviser on Inter Party Relations, Mr Jackson Suokiri, expressed hope that the new leadership of IPAC would perform its watchdog role with understanding and love for the state.

In his speech, the state Chairman, IPAC, Mr Brisibe Kpodoh, solicited for the state government support and pledged to rally round government to enable it deliver sustainable development to people of the state.