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Dickson tackles Dahiru over false claim on Bayelsa population

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Seriake Dickson

There was a mild drama at plenary, yesterday, when representative of Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Seriake Dickson and her Adamawa Central counterpart, Aishatu Ahmed Binani Dahiru disrupted proceedings with an argument.

Dickson disagreed with Dahiru’s comment in her lead debate, in which she denigrated Bayelsa as a state with only eight council areas, hence smaller than Mubi town in Adamawa State.

While advancing argument in support of her bill to establish Federal Medical Centre in Mubi, she said the town, with a landmass of 506.4 square kilometers and population of 759,045 was equivalent to nine council areas.

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“This together with the population of Mubi North makes it 2,089,540 people, much higher than Bayelsa State’s eight council areas with a population of 1,704,515,” she said.

But Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa) faulted her claim on Bayelsa’s population, saying Dahiru was peddling falsehood in her motion concerning Bayelsa State.

He argued that the size of Bayelsa, including its landmass and the water bodies, was three times bigger than some states in the country, insisting that Dahiru could have made her case without reference to Bayelsa.

Dickson further explained it takes four days to go round his Senatorial district and three days to traverse his Sagbama Council adding: “I just felt I should enlighten the sponsor of the bill and by so doing, the rest of the country.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, however, interjected and cautioned Dickson against inputting improper motives to the debate.

“Apparently, I have to guide this contribution because you have made your point and, giving our standing orders, we shouldn’t impute improper motives to the submission by our colleagues,” he said.

But Dickson restated that debates and the submissions in the Senate should be based on justifiable facts, arguing that Dahiru referred to unverifiable population figures, while Lawan cautioned him (Dickson) against reducing the debate to reaction to comments.

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