Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday issued certificate of return to 23 members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly elected during the just concluded general election.
The presentation which was held at the Prof Mahmood Yakubu Media Centre, INEC office in Yenagoa, the state capital, was witnessed by the supporters and family members of the elected lawmakers.
In his opening address, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr. Emmanuel Alex Hart said he took some pains to scan through the members-elect only to realize that the female gender are just a handful.
He questioned why the women are not giving equal representation, adding that he is not advocating for the women but only saying what he feels should be the case.
He said, “It is possible to do that. Let’s give them equal opportunity to represent us. They are our mothers, they are our sisters. We need them in every facet of the society. So, as you go back, think about it.
“You have won, in a couple of minutes you will get your certificate of return. That will tell the whole world that you are an elected member of the House of Assembly. But do not forget your constituents in your constituencies. They made it possible for you to be here today. You don’t get back and forget about them; that will be too bad.
“Remember the game is not over till it is over, this is just one phase, tomorrow you might wish to go higher and you will need their cooperation. But from the way you treated them, even though they won’t tell you right in the face, they will tell their selves the first one we did, what happened and that will be too bad for you”, Hart advised.
Also, the administrative secretary of INEC, Engr Okop Umobong commended the people of Bayelsa State for the success recorded during the election, adding that it would not have been possible without the people’s desire to have a successful election.
“Even as we look forward to the two constituency elections, the supplementary elections that are coming on the April 15, 2023, we know that election will be successful as well”, he said.