Nigeria: Bayelsa Speaker 'Resigns' Days After Rejecting 'Impeachment'

10 October 2019

The former speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Toney Isenah, on Monday made a U-turn, and tendered his resignation letter as the 'speaker' of the assembly, seven days after he was controversially removed by the lawmakers.

Mr Isenah was replaced on September 30 with a lawmaker representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 2, Monday Bubou-Obolo.

But he rejected his 'impeachment' as illegal and said he remained the speaker of the assembly.

Mr Isenah's resignation letter, which was backdated to September 30, was read during plenary on Monday.

My resignation was for the peace and the "greater good" of Bayelsa state, the former speaker told the House.

Mr Bubou-Obolo presided over the plenary.

Aotendeike Boloigha, the media aide to the former speaker, confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES, Wednesday night.

Mr Isenah, who is from the same Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area as Douye Diri, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been under pressure to resign.

But he had continuously resisted such pressure.

"I have not committed any crime. If I am supposed to resign, I know that, maybe, based on federal character principle, if my local government area produces the governor and when he is sworn in, ordinarily I was to leave," Mr Isenah said in an interview he granted Channels television, a few hours after his reported impeachment.

"It's not as if there is any law that the two can't come from the same place. We should be talking about good governance. I am the speaker of the state and not the speaker of any group."

Mr Isenah told Channels that he did not enter into any agreement to resign if Mr Diri wins the PDP governorship primary.

The former speaker said Mr Diri can still win the general election, even with himself remaining in office as the speaker.

"Why is it that I am now the sacrificial lamb? Why are they making it look like I am against Kolokuma-Opokuma producing the next governor? That is not right," he said.

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