ABUJA – Aggrieved people protesting the exclusion of Bayelsa State from the ambassadorial list sent to the Senate last week for screening and confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari defied heavy downpour in Abuja tuesday to table their case to the National Assembly.
The protesters, under the aegis of Concerned Bayelsa Indigenes, whose action at the National Assembly gate, temporarily halted vehicular movement for some minutes, said the non inclusion of any indigene of the state in the list was an injustice that must be addressed immediately.
The group accused President Muhammadu Buhari of deliberately sidelining Bayelsa State in major appointments, one of which it mentioned as recent appointments of permanent secretaries.
Coordinator of the group,Bodi Arerebo told newsmen during the protest that the president’s action was unfair to the state he said campaigned vigorously for his victory at the 2015 presidential poll, against its indigene, Goodluck Jonathan, who held sway at the time as president.
He said it was improper for the state, which had contributed to the growth of the economy to be excluded from such a list.
Arerebo, an All Progressives Congress, APC, Chieftain in Bayelsa, said many Bayelsa people voted for President Buhari, adding that their exclusion from appointments was discriminating.
He said: ‘”While we appreciate his effort at cleaning up Ogoni Land, the president should do more by giving us what is due us whenever the need arises.
“Permanent secretaries were appointed from each state of the federation, Bayelsa was excluded, against the state is excluded from the current list of career ambassadorial nominees.
“While some states are represented with two or three candidates, Bayelsa has none. He3 should please include Bayelsa people in the scheme of things in the country.
“The President of the Senate is kindly requested to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to consider Bayelsa people,’’ he said.
Mr Arerebo warned that if nothing was done to consider the request of the group by the National Assembly, the group would proceed to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly for another protest with a view to laying the people demand before the state legislature.
He called on the National Assembly not to carry out the screening exercise until their demands were met just as he appealed to the president to do the needful by including persons from the state in his list of ambassadors.
Arerebo, who decried some policies of his party, asked the President to do everything within his power to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians.