By Onyekachi Eze
A near physical combat was averted among members of the Imo State House of Assembly Thursday afternoon when the debate on a Bill for a law to relocate the Imo State University of Agriculture and Science from Ngor Okpala/Aboh Mbaise to location of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo in Ohaji/Egbema LGA.
It was an Executive Bill presented by the Majority Leader, Hon Uche Ogbuagu.
Moments after the Bill was presented for debates, crisis erupted which almost led to a mini brawl that would have warranted the lawmakers to exchange blows.
Our correspondent who witnessed the plenary session said that it climaxed to a point where the Speaker, Rt Hon Chiji Collins stood up from his position to call members to order.
At the Second reading of bill amending the University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies, Aboh/Okpala was being debated on the floor of the House of Assembly members moved to delete anything/Clause about the proposed Aboh/Okpala, and to return it to the original place which is Imo Poly Umuagwo.
According to the chief sponsor, Uche Ogbuagu, Nigeria University Commission NUC never gave accreditation to an uncompleted building, hence the disqualification of Aboh/Okpala.
Arthur Egwim added that that was part of a mistake by the 8th House to have considered the place while the Deputy Speaker,
Amara Iwuanyanwu on his own said it is an aberration to even to have considered such move at the first place. He pointed out that the said land in Aboh/Okpala is in serious dispute and in court, and suggested that it is returned to its original place, Umuagwo.
Kanayo Onyemaechi, Obinna Okwara respectively agreed to the bill, stressing that if it continues to be in Aboh/Okpala, it then needs a revocation of the license establishing the University of Agriculture in Umuagwo which had been from its first day of establishment.
Freedoline Nnodumele said as an executive bill, the bill is for the overall interest of the masses, and not time for politics.
On the contrary, the member representing Ezinihitte Mbaise, Hon. Anyadike Nwosu said the best place for the University remains in Aboh/Okpala, arguing that the said location is already fully equipped. His opposition and those on his side sparked off a row that almost led to a free for all.
There was a near physical fight between the majority members supporting the Bill and the opposition groups, as the majority shut up Anyadike Nwosu while he was speaking and threatened to send him out should he further disrupt the peaceful conduct of the House.
This halted the plenary session for some minutes over the physical confrontation. The Speaker had to stand up to call members to order over the rancorous atmosphere.
Though of the opposition PDP, Hon Frank Ugboma of Oguta supported the Bill. According to him, coming from the Minority doesn’t mean one should vehemently oppose motions or Bills in favour of the State.
Finally 20 lawmakers spoke in favour of the Bill, while 3 were against before it was read for second time and relaxed to the Committee of the whole House.
By Onyekachi Eze