IMO APC LAWMAKERS IN DEFECTION MOVE
•POOR WELFARE OF MEMBERS CITED AS FACTOR
If what Trumpeta Newspaper gathered is to be considered, then, there is every reason to be worried, as defection looms in the Imo State House of Assembly led by Rt Hon Paul Emeziem.
Aside being an effect of the suspension handed on Six of the House Members, the Lawmakers who are of the APC blamed lack of welfare as another strong factor.
Recall that during the short lived tenure of the PDP’s administration in the State under Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, over eighteen Lawmakers cross carpeted from their political parties to the PDP.
At that point, they said it was to get democracy dividends for their constituency.
After the January 12, 2019 Supreme Court verdict that sacked Chief Ihedioha to favour the APC candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma as the Governor, Imo State House of Assembly witnessed another mass exodus from PDP/APGA to APC.
Barely two years after, the language appears to be changing again, following a suspected disaffection in the House.
The Lawmakers woke up one day, and signed the impeachment papers that sacked the former, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins as Speaker.
Among the allegations levelled against Chiji by the 9th House of Imo Assembly bordered on Financial impropriety, bias, and alleged poor treatment towards them.
That action led to the emergence of Rt Hon Paul Emeziem.
However, the Members are said to be staging a walk-out from APC given their ordeals, even as members in the majority, Trumpeta learnt.
A male Lawmaker from Owerri zone who spoke under strict anonymity fumed that there is no need remaining in APC, if they cannot be protected and made the envy of others.
Unless their request and conditions are met, the defection would likely hit APC more.
It was further gathered that in order to lure them into APC, they were promised to be well taken care of, including the allocation of lands, constituency projects fund, House, security, wardrobe allowances.
They revealed that till now, there is nothing unique that distinguished them as those in the ruling party.
The aggrieved members stated that there is no difference between them and those in the PDP minority caucus.
“If after sacrificing the support we enjoyed while in our old parties to join the APC, and there is no atom of protection from the Governor, I think it would be wise to return to the root;
“Without any justifiable reason, members of the APC were suspended. Up till now, the Governor has remained silent. That shows how he regards us in the majority”, the Lawmaker enthused.
Another burning factor is the situation where they have been allegedly prevented from seeing the Governor by the Leadership of the House.
OPPOSITION MEMBERS ARE UNFIT TO BE LAWMAKERS, SAYS JOHNSON DURU
In what could be best attributed as a denigration to an elected office holders, the Member representing Ideato South State Constituency, Hon. Johnson Iheonukara Duru has described the Minority members of the Imo State House of Assembly in the PDP, as undeserving to be Lawmakers.
He also pushed for the recall of the PDP Lawmakers by their respective Constituencies.
Hon. Johnson Duru, also known as PaJay made this declaration in a press release issued out to some of the media Houses, obtained by Trumpeta Newspaper.
In reaction to the address of the Minority Leader, Hon. Anyadike Nwosu during a press conference organised by the PDP Lawmakers on Monday, where they condemned the suspension of the members, Johnson Duru insisted that their suspension was legal and followed due legislative processes.
The Ideato South House member tongue lashed the PDP Lawmakers, accusing them of behaving in an unparliamentary conduct.
He said those actions were not befitting of who calls himself a Parliamentarian.
He disclosed that some of the PDP Members are ineffective, and lacks due Leadership qualities to remain in the House of Assembly, hence, charged their constituents to recall them.
“The PDP lawmakers are not deserving to be lawmakers. A good number of them should be recalled by their constituents for reasons of ineptitude , truancy and lack of decorum.” he said.
Further describing the duly elected House of Assembly Members as ‘disgruntled’, Hon. Johnson Duru said,
“However, if at the wake of insecurity in the state with banditry and unknown Gun men, a group of disgruntled Lawmakers feel it is time to add to the almost State of anarchy, then we as Lawmakers who have the interest of the State at heart will vehemently kick against that. Our duty is not to sink the State but to work hands-in-gloves with the executive in matters of State emergency”.
It would be recalled that the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem had on the July 8th, 2021 dissolved all standing committees, and yet to reconstitute a fresh one, including that of the Committee on Information, Ethics and Privileges.
ARE PDP LAWMAKERS DIVIDED?
All seem not to be well with the minority caucus of the Imo State House of Assembly, who are of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, as signs of internal wrangling could be dictated from their voices and actions.
There are signs of disunity rocking the opposition caucus of the House, even when they complain of suppression from their Colleagues in the Majority caucus (APC).
The opposition Lawmakers numbering seven are suspected of bearing grudge against each other, for reasons yet to be ascertained.
The Lawmakers are; Hon. Anyadike Nwosu (Ezinihitte Mbaise), Hon. Frank Ugboma (Oguta), Hon. Solomon Anukam (Owerri Municipal), Hon. Philip Ejiogu (Owerri North), Hon. Okey Onyekanma (Mbaitoli), Hon. Tochi Okereke (Ngor Okpala), and Hon. Paschal Okolie (Orlu).
Recent activities in the House of Assembly had exposed a loophole in the affinity that existed among them in the past.
Unlike during the Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha led PDP administration in Imo, where the PDP Lawmakers lived in harmony, same cannot be said at the moment over allegations of sabotage suspectedly brewing among them.
Trumpeta Assembly Vibes gathered that Some of them may resort to physical combat or Law Courts if care is not taken.
A key player in the PDP had accused his colleague in the same caucus of sabotaging the effort of the opposition in seeking for their welfare.
The accused whose names are withheld is said to be working as a mole, exposing all the in-house discussions and agreements of the minority to the majority (APC).
The other person also is said to be threatening fire and brimstone if PDP as a party cease to intervene.
According to the Lawmaker who was captured by our Correspondent, “He would sue the other to court for criminal charges”.
It was further observed that at the PDP Secretariat on Monday during a Press Conference, the said two Legislators almost washed their linen before the public.
While the seven of them were present waiting for the commencement of the briefing, the two in a face-off were spotted making side comments thereby signaling war.
One of them however lost grip before the party Exco, when his perceived rival directed him to sit beside.
If not for one of the party’s Exco, Nze Law Biaduo who quickly observed the seemingly signs of physical confrontation, and took him to his seat to settle down, hell would had let loose.
From that display, Trumpeta discovered that unless something is done fast, the opposition Lawmakers might one day entertain the House with “heavy blows or Law suit, as they had threatened.
CONDEMNATION TRAILS SUSPENSION OF MEMBERS, AS EX FED LAWMAKER CHARGES SPEAKER
As Imolites across party board have continued to see the suspension of Six of the Members of Imo State House of Assembly as illegal and constitutional, a former member of the National Assembly who represented Ideato Nation (House of Representatives), Hon. Dr. ThankGod Ezeani has called on the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem to as a matter of urgency call off the suspension.
The former Federal Lawmaker expressed displeasure over the suspension of Imo Lawmakers, especially the PDP Minority Caucus, for what was termed ”unparliamentary conduct and Insubordination”.
In a statement released by Hon. Ezeani media office in Owerri, he unequivocally condemned the action of the Speaker, describing it as unlawful, undemocratic and a threat to the rule of law and due process, considering the fact that the suspended Lawmakers were not offered the benefits of fair hearing.
He stressed the need to constitute a panel to ascertain and investigate the charges levelled against any principal officer of any Legislature at the national, State or Local Government levels, before being suspended for any offense in the course of parliamentary duty.
According to him, this is an unacceptable and appalling attempt to silence and suppress the opposition,which he defined as an integral part of democracy and governance as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution. He further advised the Speaker to desist from unlawful conducts that are targeted at undermining and embarrassing the dignity and honour of an enlightened and hitherto overtly democratic state like Imo.
He charged the Speaker to urgently withdraw the unlawful suspension and reinstate the elected legislators with immediate effect, that they may continue carrying out their official duties and responsibilities to their constituents who elected them and reposed trust and confidence in them, and also keep up their functional checks and balances in the repertoire of the democratic governance of Imo state.
He stressed that the rule of law must prevail over the rule of force, and that justice must always be seen to be done, not just be done.