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Zoning untenable in Bayelsa, says Agbedi

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With zoning as an issue ahead of the November 16 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State, the former director-general of Seriake Dickson Governorship Campaign Organisation, Fred Agbedi, has dismissed zoning as a veritable principle.

Agbedi, one of the leading contenders for Dickson’s seat, made the statement when he led members of his Onward Restoration and Transformation Campaign Organisation to the Federated Correspondents Chapel (FCC) secretariat in Yenagoa.

The House of Representatives member for Sagbama/Ekeremor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant described politicians who wanted the next governorship position to be zoned to Bayelsa Central as ignorant.

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According to him, there was never a time elder, politicians and other stakeholders sat to decide zoning or power rotation in the state.

“People talk about zoning. They said it’s Bayelsa Central’s turn to produce the governor. The question I ask is whether there has ever been zoning in Bayelsa? The answer is ‘no’. It is very simple that in leadership, politics, and governance in Bayelsa, there has never been zoning.

“The state was created by the military in 1996, we all know that. We also know that we did not come in through democracy, but through the military that handed over in 1999. In 1999, I had already come back from the House of Representatives.

“I am among those that took Bayelsa people to meet Alhaji Usman Dagogo, the Chiroma of Katsina, who was the deputy chairman of the subcommittee on state creation in the Nbanefo panel. So, I know how Bayelsa was created. I know how it was funded and realised.”

He challenged anyone to a public debate on zoning in Bayelsa, adding that people from all the zones contested the last governorship ballot, negating the zoning principle.

“If you zone election, it means that all the contestants should come from the area it was zoned to. But because there was no zoning, people contested from all senatorial districts.

“So, where was zoning in 1999? Of course, when the late Diepreye Alameiseigha had issues, did anybody zone it to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan? He was deputy governor and naturally, he stepped in.


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