Bayelsa backs INEC’s bid to deregister political parties


Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo

The Bayelsa State government has voiced support for the move by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties that fail to meet provisions of the Electoral Act and Nigerian Constitution.

Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, made this known when the newly elected state executive committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa, on Tuesday.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor explained that the state government believes in the rule of law and that deregistration would strengthen democracy in the country.

Ewhrudjakpo, who said the call has become imperative as government alone cannot meet the aspirations of the people, congratulated the IPAC leadership and called for effective collaboration between the present administration and the council for the good of all.

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He, however, expressed concern over the constitutional one-year tenure of the leadership, saying the duration may be too short to execute their programmes and projects and called for a review of the IPAC constitution.

According to him, such an upward review of the tenure of office to five years would make for impactful leadership and also reduce the high level of acrimony and litigations that characterise its transition process.

Ewhrudjakpo also urged the new IPAC state executive committee to make accountability and transparency their watchword and ensure they could bequeath worthy legacies to their successors.

“Let me use this opportunity to once again thank IPAC for your show of support and understanding. But going forward, this administration requires more collaboration with you because we see you as one of our core partners in the building of our dear state,” the deputy governor said.

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

“But 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 organisation to succeed in that context. That is why in some countries they serve five-year tenure.

“Personally, I think five years 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.

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Presenting the new executives, Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Collins Cocodia, expressed gratitude to all 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, Jackson Suokiri, expressed hope that the new leadership of IPAC would perform their watchdog role with understanding and love for the state.

In his remarks, the State Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council, Brisibe Kpodoh, solicited the support of the present administration and pledged to rally the round government to enable it to deliver sustainable development to the people of the state.


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