SPEAKER IBEH IN TROUBLE, MEMBERS BOIL OVER ALLEGED COMMENTS ON REMOVAL
• AS AIDE DISMISSES REPORT
The Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kennedy Ibeh has attracted the fury of his Colleagues over purported utterances credited to him.
Trumpeta newspaper learnt that the Speaker allegedly described himself as “untouchable”, whom the Members of the 9th Imo Assembly have no Will and powers to impeach.
The said statement was alleged to have been made by the Speaker during an enlarged meeting he had with his Obowo Constituents in Owerri, last week.
Since then, it is reported to have been generating uproar among the Lawmakers.
From the look of things, the rosy relationship that had existed among the Imo Legislators appears to be sour if the threats emanating from the House are to be considered.
Recall that Rt. Hon Ibeh emerged the third Speaker of the present House after the ouster of his predecessor, Rt. Hon Paul Emeziem.
In less than 40 minutes, the gavel hit against Emeziem followed by a suspension over acts termed “unparliamentary”.
Should the Members delve into full investigation and find out if truly the number one Lawmaker in the State uttered such a word he was accused of, mass revolt is imminent.
Outcome of the would-be revolt Trumpeta observed from precedence might not be palatable to the ranking member of Obowo State Constituency.
The Speaker’s purported comment which the unsuspecting public may have waved aside, is believed to have gained indepth meaning by his Assembly Members.
While Ibeh has won the Obowo APC Assembly ticket for his third term missionary journey, others who lost out is said to be warming up for war at any given opportunity.
An insider who spoke to this newspaper under strict anonymity said, “The Speaker has attracted envy for himself. If he is not watchful, he may be removed from that seat the way his predecessors were shown the way out”.
Before now, the body language of the Members had spelt resentment of the way and manner they are being treated.
Aside the comment, another strong factor that may work against the Speaker is his relationship with his Colleagues.
While some members accuse him of bias, others are of the opinion that he doesn’t carry them along, neither does he table their complaints boardering on welfare to the Governor.
Unless Ibeh swings into action and douse all frayed nerves, the end might not be welcoming.
Meanwhile, the media department of the Speaker has countered the claims and reports.
In a media statement signed by Citizen Samuelson Iwuoha sent to Assembly Vibes, it reads,
“On Wednesday, the 26th of July 2022, the Rt Honourable Speaker of Imo State House Of Assembly, Kennedy Chidozie Ibeh, conveyed a meeting of Obowo indigenes living in Owerri at the DE ROYAL EVENTS CENTRE, along IMO CONCORDE HOTEL ROAD, to give Account of his Stewardship. He had earlier done so in Obowo Local Government Area, but this time around, decided to invite his brethren living in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, for the same purpose. Please find attached to this Rejoinder, the Brochure, which was distributed at the occasion, detailing the Achievements of Rt Honourable Kennedy Chidozie Ibeh, both as Speaker of Imo State House Of Assembly and As member representing Obowo State Constituency.
“While reading out the contents of the brochure, the Rt Hon Speaker further informed his Obowo Audience that it would be Better and more Advantageous to consolidate on the Achievements so far recorded, than to have a New House Member for Obowo State Constituency, who would waste time and resources learning the business of Lawmaking, Appropriation and Oversight, unlike him who has consolidated Experience, Exposure and in addition to being Speaker.
“The Speaker never at any point ridiculed his esteemed colleagues. Neither did he say his colleagues cannot remove him, if they are no longer comfortable with his Pragmatic and ingenious style of leadership. The Office Of the Speaker covered the event comprehensively, and we are Ready, Willing and Able to make our Tapes available for the Public and our Esteemed lawmakers to Scrutinize and find out the truth. We also have Record of those that attended the event. On our register, we have a total of 187 Obowo indigenes living in Owerri, who attended the event.
“The undiluted truth is that we are in the period of Politics and Politicking, so Ambitious opposition members who are envious of the Rt Honourable Speaker’s Achievements, both as the Number One Lawmaker in the State and Member Representing Obowo State Constituency, are jittery, and have therefore decided to throw Spanners of Blackmail, Spanners of Lies, Spanners of Hate Speech and indeed Spanners of Political Hatred on the Wheel of Sociopolitical Progress of Rt Honourable Kennedy Chidozie Ibeh (Nke Nke Enyi N’Achikota Igwe Enyi)”.
LAWMAKERS FLEE COMMUNITIES, HOST CONSTITUENTS IN OWERRI
The fear of the unknown is the beginning of wisdom among Members of the Imo State House of Assembly.
Apprehensive of the pervading nature of insecurity across communities in Imo State, the Elected Representatives at the hallowed chambers of Imo State have resorted to hosting Constituents in Owerri.
Aside Lawmakers from Owerri Municipal Council, Owerri North, and Owerri West, the remaining twenty-one of them are constitutionally answerable to their Constituents who elected them in 2019.
And all activities concerning each of the State Constituencies are bound to hold within the confines of their localities.
However, the current Lawmakers have violated their mandates when they begin to host their people in Owerri.
Recently, Assembly Vibes noticed that many of them who wish to hold Constituency briefings prefers to hold it in either their Owerri residence or in a hotel or event centers in the State capital.
When confronted, their reasons were not unconnected to the insecurity in their communities.
While some of them who still value and understand the legislative tenets still defy all odds and conduct it in their local governments, others make diversion of chosing Owerri town.
It would be recalled that since last year the unknown gunmen launched attack on security formations and rural areas, non of the Members had thought it wise to hold Constituency briefing.
For few of them, they only visit radio stations, buy airtime and reel out what they felt as Constituency briefing.
Others too make use of the social media to pen down their achievements for the last three years.
Interestingly, a member of the House, Hon. Paschal Okolie in one of his Media Briefings boldly told newsmen that reason why he has not conducted any Constituency briefing was due to the insecurity in Orlu.
Okolie aptly added that it would be uncalled for to converge his Orlu Constituents in Owerri for that regard. instead it was held in Orlu, the hot spot of insecurity in Imo State.
Such disposition however received accolades from the public, unlike others who transports their constituents to Owerri for scorecard presentation.
A question posed to the Lawmakers therefore is, should they continue hosting their constituents in Owerri, what would happen in 2023? Will they also be dragged to cast their votes in Owerri rather than their Constituencies?
WHAT HAPPENED TO OVERSIGHT FUNCTIONS?
One striking question seeking answers is about the duties of elected legislators.
Since it is basically separated into three, viz; lawmaking which is done inside the chambers, oversight functions targeted at being a watchdog to government ministries and agencies, and the, constituency representation, it is believed that lawmakers have a great role to play in the day-to-day activities of governance.
Suffice it to say that among the three, members of the Imo State House of Assembly may be obviously lagging behind on the second one, which is ‘oversight duties’.
After the election of principal officers, another vital positions fixed were the Chairmen of the Standing Committees, respectively.
Each of them were allotted one or more positions and membership of other committees.
The reason was to ensure that the legislative arm of government in the State oversees or checkmates the activities of government ministries, agencies, parastatals, and MDAs.
A pertinent question therefore now, is how well they have fared with their oversight functions?
Recently, there has been an outcry on epileptic power supply, zero provision of social amenities by government agencies and alleged harassment by ENTRACO, OCDA and ministry officials visit of the masses.
Other vital sectors, the Imo State House of Assembly were expected to have monitored their operations under oversight functions, include the Board of Imo Internally Revenue Service, IIRS, education, health, sanitation, to mention but a few. After three years of legislative activity, nothing has been heard about their activity in this area considering the existence of Standing Committees meant to cover this areas.
Another Committee that once gave boost to sanity was the IGR, due to government’s supposed vested interest in the IGR of the State.
On education, health, and sanitation, nothing much is being heard from the respective Committees of their operations.
The House Committee on sanitation is thereby beckoned to go into work as Owerri metropolis stinks with debris and dirts.