Controversy In Ebonyi State House Of Assembly Over Removal Of Deputy Speaker
By Abah Nnanna
Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Monday, in an alleged controversial manner, declared the seat of the embattled Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Odefa Obasi Odefa vacant.
Odefa’s seat was declared vacant following his alleged resignation as a member of the House of Assembly.
Mr. Oliver Osi, representing Ivo State Constituency and Mrs. Ngozi Ezilo representing Afikpo North East constituency as were said to have defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressive Congress, APC, during plenary after a letter purportedly written by the duo was read on the floor of the house.
According to the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru, the duo also resigned their membership of the State House of Assembly.
But in their successive reactions, the embattled Deputy Speaker who insisted that he remains the Deputy Speaker of the House, described the action of the House as “Monkey Child’s Play.”
“Why will I resign? It’s a monkey child’s place. It is only going to be by Recall. I have not participated in any Congress organized by APC. I didn’t resign.
“I do not belong to the APC. If you represent your people, it’s your people that will decide. No man is God. The House realized that they do not have 2/3 majority to effect my impeachment and that’s why they alleged that I resigned. That’s what happened. Why will I resign? Is it that am mentally deranged?
“Did INEC give any other member a certificate of return? It’s now a legal issue. They plan to kill me. They are planning blood she’d. They cannot kill me because they didn’t create me. I chose to be in PDP
“I have been threatened that I will be kidnapped and not be seen. Everything has to be by the law. Nobody’s life is worth any political position. They lack the power to forge a letter and read it on the floor of the House. I remained the Deputy Speaker of the Ebonyi Assembly. I have written to security agencies over the threat I received after the news of my press conference went viral.”
Also, the affected lawmakers, Mr. Oliver Osi and Ngozi Ezilo refuted the claim by the House, stressing that they never resigned both from PDP and from the House of Assembly.
Osi said: “Are my day dreaming to resign? It’s a misnormal. They have denied me my entitlements. My official car and what is meant for my constituents have been denied me. If am to ever resign from PDP, I have to read the letter by myself and the house will vote in that regard. This is desperation. This is a kind of madness.”
During plenary, Mr. Kingsley Ikoro, representing Afikpo North West constituency was nominated and sworn in as the new Deputy Speaker of the House.
It was gathered that the constitution of the House has only 15 Lawmarkers from the All Progressive Congress, APC, while 9 Lawmarkers are PDP members.
Meanwhile, some hoodlums suspected to be loyal to the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly attacked and beat up the Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ebonyi State Council, Mr. Nnamdi Akpa.
Akpa who is the Ebonyi State Correspondent of Guardian Newspaper was kicked and punched on the back while the thugs had a field day.
Reports have it that the victim was attacked simply because he was seen in the hallow chambers sending a message to a prominent politician (names withheld) in the State.
Akpa is from the same town, Uburu and Local Government Area, Ohaozara, with the Governor of the State.
According to Akpa: “I have to go the Hospital. I was beaten. I was brushed to the ground. What is my crime?”
In an emotion ladden voice, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly who condemned the attack meted out on the NUJ Secretary, apologized to the victim and the entire NUJ family over the incident.
“This is a public place. It’s wrong to beat up a Journalist. You are not working for me. I want to tendered unreserved apology over what happened or should I kneel down? I apologise for what happened. I am very sorry for what happened.”
As political activities build up in the State, many Journalists and Stakeholders are expressing fear over their safety in the State. Ends