Constitution Amendment: Bayelsa Assembly Rejects Independent Candidacy

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State House of Assembly thursday concluded the consideration of the proposed alterations to the 1999 Constitution forwarded to it by the National Assembly.

The lawmakers rejected two provisions out of the 15 proposed for debate, including the provision for independent candidacy and the restriction placed on a president or governor sworn in to complete the tenure of an elected president or governor elected to office.

That provision indicates that in such a case, a person who completes the tenure of a governor or president cannot stay in the position for more than a single term thereafter.

Moving the motion to dissolve the assembly into a Committee of the Whole, the leader of the state assembly, Dr. Peter Akpe noted that the exercise was the contribution of Bayelsa people into the processes of constitutional amendment.

Though there was no room for extensive debate, the members voted in the affirmative for 13 provisions including the total support for the change of the Nigerian Police Force to the Nigerian Police.

Also supported by the Bayelsa Assembly members is the abrogation of the State Joint Account for Local Government Council and the empowerment of councils to maintain and operate special account with a provision to make savings in the Federal Account before distribution to other accounts.

The assembly members also supported the issue of immunity clause for members in respect to words spoken during plenary sessions on the floor of the assembly.

Meanwhile, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has signed into law the bill on Compulsory Primary and Secondary Education Law in Bayelsa State.

The members of the State Executive Council, told journalists that following the signing, the arrest and prosecution of any parent who refuses to send their child to school to acquire formal education would take effect immediately.

Addressing newsmen after the 89th State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, the Commissioner for Education, Jonathan Obuebite said with the assent of the bill, every child of school age must be enrolled into the various model schools of the government.

Obuebite maintained that any child that is seen loitering or hawking on the streets during school hours will be picked up while their parents or guardian will be dealt with as provided in the new law.

He explained that the move is to emphasise the importance the government attaches to education, adding that with the huge investment made in that sector there is every need to ensure it does not become a waste.

“We have spent over 70 billion naira building and equipping our schools. Today we have quality infrastructure and facilities across our schools in every local government area. We feel it is important to have this law to protect that investment,” he said.