What appeared like a surprise development occurred on Tuesday’s December 7, 2021 during the plenary session of the Imo State House of Assembly when the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Kennedy Ibeh announced a minor change in one of the principal offices.
The Speaker announced an immediate change of the position of the Chief Whip, with the member representing Oru East State Constituency, Hon. Chigozie Nwaneri taking over from his Nkwerre counterpart, Hon. Obinna Okwara.
Okwara had served in that capacity before his replacement on Tuesday.
Earlier at the commencement of business, Speaker Ibeh announced the changes with Nwaneri as the new Chief Whip, while the man for Aboh Mbaise, Hon. Eddy Obinna still maintains his Deputy Chief Whip position.
The announcement, according to him was with immediate effect, and the affected lawmakers changing position in sitting arrangements.
It would be recalled that Hon. Chigozie Nwaneri was the first Majority Leader to emerge at the commencement of the present 9th House, before the Supreme Court Judgement that ousted the then PDP Governor.
Hon Nwaneri gave way for Ogbuagu as a Majority Leader as a result of the coming onboard of his kinsman Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, bearing in mind of the political sharing formula in the State.
Ever since then, the Oru East Lawmaker has remained focused in the cardinal principles of Legislation, effective representation to his constituents and oversight.
However, the new Chief Whip while fielding questions from the House of Assembly Correspondents described his emergence as nothing but another phase of call to serve.
He pledged to work harmoniously with the House Leadership, and Members for a common goal of ensuring good legislation for the State.
According to Hon Nwaneri, being appointed the Chief Whip was a privilege, and promised to be diligent to duties.
He said nothing happens without the knowledge of God.
He didn’t forget to reiterate his determination in trading towards the progress of the State, in line with the 3R mantra of Imo Government.
Further appreciating the Speaker for finding him worthy of the position, Hon. Nwaneri assured to never disappoint his Constituents who gave him the mandate to represent them at the State House of Assembly.
In a related development, the enthronement of Nwaneri to the position has excited the people of Oru East who have since the announcement rolled out drums and felicitations to him.


“My people of Ideato North and environs are dying on daily basis because of high rate of adulterated kerosene sales in our markets nowadays”.
Those were the words of lamentation from the Lawmaker representing Ideato North State Constituency at the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Innocent Arthur Egwim, on the floor of the House on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.
The House member in his people oriented motion, as seconded by his Ideato South brother, Hon Johnson Iheonukara Duru decried the spate of death cases recorded so far in his locality as a result of adulterated kerosene in circulation.
He told the members that currently, over seven of his constituents have fallen victims of mixed kerosene products being sold by the marketers.
Egwim decried that victims are usually from the poorest homes in the rural areas who can only afford kerosene for household use, other than gas like the urban dwellers.
Speaking to the conscience of his colleagues, he cited that as a Legislator elected by a people, they owe them (constituents) the responsibility of protection of lives and property.
The Legal practitioner turned Lawmaker further argued that if the activities of the bunkerers are not adequately checkmated, more lives would be lost as as a result of kerosene or petrol explosions.
Egwim pointed out that well refined petroleum doesn’t explode the way adulterated kerosene and other spirits does, hence called that perpetrators should be fished out and dealt with, decisively.
Prayers of the motion reads,
“Whereas some nefarious Petroleum dealers in the State now take delivery of adulterated kerosene from doubtful sources suspected to be from people who engage in unlawful bunkering of petroleum products for selfish reasons;
“Very much aware that this State has witnessed, in the recent times high frequency of domestic accidents occasioned by kerosene explosions as a result of the purchase and use of the adulterated kerosene suspected to have been mingled with hydrocarbon and other incendiary chemicals, unknown to the innocent buyers and users of the product;
“Aware that the accidental explosions as a result of the use of the unwholesome kerosene have sent many victims to their early graves, while the few lucky ones that survived the ordeal look ghostly and disfigured beyond recognition by those who used to know such people before the accident”.
House members in their contributions condemned bunkering in Imo State and gave their full support to the motion.
The members who disclosed of also representing the rural communities disclosed that they are always inundated with calls on same issue.
Hon Kanayo Onyemaechi stated that the House of Assembly complex is exempted from the mayhem as the generator sets that powers light at the complex suffered breakdown due to adulterated petrol it used during the past leadership.
They vowed to reveal the source, manufacturers, and dealers.
The House, led by the Speaker, Rt Hon Kennedy Ibeh resolved as follows;
“To invite the following stake-holders in the State to come and explain why the State is inundated with adulterated kerosene, leading to high frequency of explosions, killing and maiming several innocent Imo citizens in the recent times.
The summoned persons are;
The Commandant, NSCDC Imo State, the Chairman,the Chairman, DPRS, Imo State, the Chairman IPMAN Imo State, and the Chairman CPC, Imo State. They are to appear before the Executive session on Thursday, December 16, 2021.
The House also resolved to urge the
Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope
Uzodinma to direct the State Taskforce on Petroleum Products to identify petrol stations in the State and private individuals who take delivery and sell adulterated kerosene and other petroleum products in the State for the appropriate punishment to be meted on the offenders to serve as deterrent to others.


Imo State House of Assembly has proposed every Thursday for a Clean-up exercise in all the markets and business areas in Imo State.
This was revealed in a motion moved by the member for Isu State Constituency, Rt. Hon Ngozi Obiefule.
Obiefule while presenting the motion during Tuesday’s plenary session frowned at the level of decay and rot seen at the market areas.
Among the focal point of argument tabled by the female Lawmaker bordered on health of both the market people and visitors.
Obiefule posited that it’s terrible visiting the market square due to the oozing odour emanating from the waste bin.
The female legislator also added that once in a month is no longer enough to maintain a healthy environment, and therefore compared Lagos State markets to be the most cleanest in Nigeria.
According to her, a place where foodstuff are displayed should be kept neat to avoid rise in epidemic.
The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon Amara Iwuanyanwu supported the motion by advocating that it go down to all the local markets and villages. He stressed that because they are in the rural areas, they need to be taught more on hygiene measures.
Hon Emeka Nduka of Ehime Mbano, Hon. Samuel Otuibe of Ahiazu Mbaise, and Hon Kanayo Onyemaechi of Owerri West, in their separate assertions hammered on the dispose of the refuse.
They argued that most at times, carrying out clean-up exercise is not the issue, but its dumping sites.
Hence, they asked that the Imo State Orientation agency, Environmental workers in each of the LGAs should embark on state wide sensitization, aimed at letting the people know the implication of keeping their markets and environment neat.
Afterwards, the House resolved to urge the Governor to mandate a compulsory once a week clean up exercise in all markets and business areas in Imo State.
“Be it also resolved by this Honourable House to urge His Excellency to put in place an Award of the most cleanest market for
the year in Imo State.
“Be it further resolved by this Honourable House that if the Governor assents to this motion, all markets Committees to ensure that their waste are disposed off neatly on collection.
“Be it finally resolved by this Honourable House that market Management Committees collects disposal fee from members of the market”.


The legislative business of Tuesday, December 7, 2021 ended in a lighter mood with the Speaker, Rt Hon Kennedy Ibeh setting up a standing committee of the House.
The Speaker before adjournment of plenary announced the constitution of five out of the other committees.
He stated that the others would be announced in later sittings.
They are; Budget and Appropriation to be chaired by the member for Ehime Mbano and the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Emeka Nduka. Vice Chairman is Hon Dominic Ezerioha, with Hon Herclus Okoro as a member.
Rt Hon Ngozi Obiefule heads the Commerce and Industry Committee. She will be deputized by Hon Paschal Okolie, and Hon Chidiebere Ogbunikpa as a member.
For Local Government, Rural Development, Chieftaincy and Autonomous Communities; the Chairman is Rt. Hon Arthur Egwim, Hon Chigozie Nwaneri, Vice chairman, and Hon Kanayo Onyemaechi as a member of the committee.
Also, for ISOPADEC, Oil and Gas committee; Hon Herclus Okoro Chairman, Hon Frank Ugboma Vice Chairman, and Hon Chigozie Nwaneri as a member.
Finally, the Speaker announced Hon Frank Ugboma as chairman for Public Utilities and Safety Committee, while Hon Philip Ejiogu deputizes him, and Hon Dominic Ezerioha as a member.
Some of the Committees after their announcement were inaugurated respectively same day by their Chairmen.
Recall that the impeached Speaker, Rt. Hon Paul Emeziem dissolved all Standing Committees of the House for the past six months without announcing a fresh list before his sack as the Leader of the 9th House of Imo Assembly.