The Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson, on Friday broke his silence over his impeachment, saying “it came at a time I did not expect.”
Benson was removed from his seat last June by a group of aggrieved lawmakers led by the former deputy speaker of the House, Mr. Fini Angaye.
He was, however, reinstated after power brokers in the Peoples Democratic Party, including President Goodluck Jonathan intervened.
But Benson said he had yet to know the reasons why the lawmakers plotted his removal. While addressing the lawmakers on the floor of the House in Yenagoa, the state capital, he said he deliberately refrained from taking issues with his accusers.
He said, “The issue of my impeachment came at a time I did not expect it. And I believe at that time till this moment, I have never in any way proved myself wrong. I have never attempted to take anybody’s money or whichever thing that does not belong to me.
“I have always guided my administration with the laws and rules that are provided in this House. My silence on the issue during the impeachment process was just because of my resolve that we should go together.
“I intended not to take issues with my accusers; hence, I decided to be silent. That was because the co-existence of this House was paramount, and the restoration programme that the governor has been preaching was foremost in my mind.” He asked the lawmakers to adopt the laid down constitutional process in addressing issues concerning the legislature.
He vowed to subject himself to the leadership of the House and to the Ethics and Privileges Committee whenever a complaint is brought against him by a lawmaker.
While saying that he would not want to be an autocratic leader, Benson called on members to respect one another.
“I want to state here that, if any member of this House is dissatisfied with whatever I have done or may do in my official capacity as speaker of this House, such should be brought to my notice as there are constitutional means and methods to seek and to ask for whatever you feel you have not been provided with or in whichever area you intend to achieve your respective goals.