Bayelsa State Government on Tuesday lent its voice in support of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the issue of deregistering political parties that fail to fulfil provisions of the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the country.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo made this known when he hosted the newly elected state executive committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) at his office in Government House, Yenagoa.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, explained that government’s position on the issue is informed by its belief in the rule of law and the need to strengthen democracy in the country.
The Deputy Governor congratulated the IPAC state executives and called for effective collaboration between the present administration and the Council for the good of all.
He said the call has become imperative given the fact that government alone cannot meet the aspirations of the people.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, however, expressed concern over the one year tenure of Exco as allowed by the IPAC constitution, saying the duration may be too short for leaders of the body to execute their programmes and projects.
He, therefore, urged IPAC to review its constitutional provisions on the tenure of office to make for impactful leadership as well as reduce the high level of acrimony and litigation that characterizes its transition process.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo also advised the new state Executive Committee of IPAC to make accountability and transparency their watchword and ensure they bequeath a worthy legacy to their successors.
His Words: “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.
“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.
“I congratulate you on your election and thank God that you made it through. Every election is important because within that period you have anxiety and even some elevated blood pressure. I want to believe that God will guide you and give you more grace to do more than your predecessor.”
” 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 organization to succeed in that context. That is why in some countries they serve five-year tenure.
“Personally, I think 5 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.
Also, the Special Adviser on Inter-Party Relations
, Barrister 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
, Mr Brisibe Kpodoh, solicited the present administration’s support and pledged to rally around the government to enable it to deliver sustainable development to the people of the state.