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Enugu Crisis: Ugwuanyi Reconciliatory Move Crumbles, As Chime, Party Chairman Host Factional Speaker

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu – Efforts by Enugu state governor- elect, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to reconcile governor Sullivan Chime, and members of the state House of Assembly has been shattered, as the factional speaker, Hon. Chinedu Nwamba has been formally presented to the Governor and the PDP leadership by his group .

Our Correspondent reports that the development is at variance with a recent peace meeting convened at the instance of Ugwuanyi, and some elders of the state held within the week.

Both factions were during the meeting asked to maintain the status-quo for the next two weeks, so as to give room for a total reconciliation of all aggrieved parties.

Meanwhile, feelers emerged Saturday morning that the nine lawmakers loyal to Chime, led by Nwamba, were hosted by the Governor on Thursday at the governor’s lodge.

In his reaction to the latest development, the embattled Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Eugene Odo, lambasted Chime for allegedly championing illegality in the State.

Odoh, described the purported presentation of the new Speaker to the State PDP leadership and the Governor as a mere charade and exercise in futility.

He maintained that he still has the total support and loyalty of 15 majority members of the House and, therefore, remains Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly.

According to him, it was unfortunate that the party chairman had to congratulate a Speaker that was elected by only seven members, thereby dividing the party further.

His words: “To crown it all, the father of the State who is the Governor, syndicated  the presentation of a speaker that was elected unlawfully.

“That is not our expectation of what democracy should look like. In a house of 24, one would have expected that to remove a speaker is a legitimate process, but at least, removal of the speaker should meet the requirements of the constitution.

“By virtue of Section 92 (1) c of our constitution, it states as follows: ‘That the Speaker of Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly shall vacate his office ifhe is removed from office by a resolution of the House of Assembly by the votes of not less than two thirds majority of members of the House’.

“Enugu State House of Assembly has 24 members. Two thirds majority of 24 members of the House is 16 voting excluding the person who is presiding. If you add the person, you are talking about 17 members.

“And we have found ourselves in a situation where only eight members and of course, if you exclude the presiding officer, we will be probably talking about a situation where only seven members sat under the watch of the Deputy Speaker, even when the Speaker did not travel”, he said.

Odo noted that under the House rules, the Deputy Speaker could only preside when the Speaker was not around, but in this case, the Deputy Speaker presided with infinitesimal minority.

He therefore, called on the Nigerian Police, the Department of State Security, DSS and the military to intervene in Enugu State to stop the dangerous slide, warning that they are trying to lay a foundation that may consume them and even their children tomorrow.

“We want to appeal to conscience of entire Enugu people to rise up to the challenge.

“It is not about Eugene Odo. It is about democracy. It is about the future of our state. It is about God himself.

“We want to state categorically clear that I remain Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly”, Odo declared.

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