Political stakeholders in Yenagoa constituency I, mainly the indigenous people of Epie/Atissa hosting the State capital have demanded for a fair and better treatment in political appointments from Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State as he gets sworn in for second term of four years.
The stakeholders under the aegis of Equity Vanguard in a statement signed by Onizibe Samuel Asuefien and made available to our correspondent, lamented that since 1999 the executive arm of government has sidelined the people of Epie/ Atissa as no one has been privileged to occupy the office of Governor or Deputy Governor.
They further pointed out that even the legislative arm of government in the State has consistently left out elected officials from Yenagoa Constituency 1 in its key appointments as none has occupied a principal office ranging from Speaker to Deputy Whip.
The Group stated that though Prof Steve Azaiki was Secretary to the State Government (SSG) for 18 months during the tenure of Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and Chief Diekivie Ikiogha as Chief of Staff under the administration of Henry Seriake Dickson, these appointments are not commensurate with the contributions and sacrifices of Yenagoa constituency I to the development of Bayelsa State.
The statement read in part: “Surprisingly, in the November 11, 2023 gubernatorial election, Yenagoa constituency I delivered 24,441 votes for PDP, a figure higher than total votes of most local government areas in the state and wonder why Yenagoa constituency I should continue to suffer marginalization in key political appointments in the State.
‘’The people of Yenagoa Constituency have contributed their lands in the state capital for the development of Bayelsa State, a situation that has denied them their full participation in sustainable farming and fishing, the main source of their livelihood. Bayelsa state should be fair to the people of Yenagoa constituency I by ensuring that important political appointments and positions in the executive and legislative arms of government are given to them in recognition of their remarkable contributions to the electoral strength of the Peoples Democratic Party and development of Bayelsa State.
The Group called on Senator Douye Diri, the Governor of Bayelsa State to ensure a better and fair political deal for the people of Epie/Atissa by appointing its valued sons and daughters to key political positions so that they will in turn always show their love and support in the implementation of his policies and programmes.
They said: “To do otherwise will be sad and disappointing but we know and trust that Governor Douye Diri will reward the people of Epie/Atissa this time for their support by addressing their pains.”