[Opinion] Abia 8th Assembly: Borrow A Clue From Your Enugu Counterparts ~ By Izuchukwu Nwokoma

The stalemate and leadership tussle rocking the newly inaugurated 24 members-elect of the 8th Abia State House of Assembly over principal officers, has indeed put on hold legislative activities that should be to the benefit of Abians who desire and deserve life changing bills, deliberated upon, if possible, passed into Law as quickly as possible.

Abians have seen the opposite play out in the 8th Assembly, which right from the day of inauguration on June 14th, 2023, showed signs that the House will be one that would witness avalanche of walkouts, rowdy sessions, failure to shift grounds, closure of plenary without laid down rules, autocracy among others which are against the expectations of Abians.

The questions on the lips of every sensible Abian who has followed the imbroglio in the 8th Abia Assembly, should be: what is actually the bone of contention? why can’t the Labour Party allow PDP have the seat of Majority leader? why can’t PDP allow Labour Party have the position of Majority Leader and Chief Whip since they produced the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively?.

Amid these posers, what is paramount is that Abia State should come first in whatever decision or activity of the House, because the Lawmakers were duly elected by the people who in return should inquire about their activities on the floor of the House.

Instead of this stalemate and leadership squabbles going on in the House, why can’t the 8th Abia Assembly Lawmakers borrow a clue from Enugu House of Assembly that produced its leadership without flexing muscles, disagreements and counter disagreements, walkouts, rowdy sessions e.t.c.

The magic, script, negotiations, lobbying PDP played before getting the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other positions in the Enugu State House of Assembly dominated by Labour Party, should be studied carefully and applied in our own trouble stricken Abia House of Assembly.

Furthermore, another derivable, which Abia 8th Assembly should also note, is the amicable manner through which the Enugu House of Assembly, allowed the Labour Party produce the Majority leader of the House having conceded the Speaker and Deputy Speaker positions. This is a case study that would guide the actions of the Abia 8th Assembly instead of choosing the path of implosion and also to avoid throwing punches at one another someday.

Even in the midst of the Legal Pre-action Notice by the PDP before they proceed to Court to seek interpretation of the Standing Rule of the House, this problem rocking the House can still be resolved to allow for full legislative business to commence having spent one month on squabbles since inauguration.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa can avert this implosion that is about happening. If he is not comfortable with any of the members chosen by the PDP as their majority leader, he can as well make fresh demand from among the 11 PDP members in the House instead of exhibiting signs of incapacitation or autocratic tendencies, after all, each and every member was duly elected.

Rt. Hon. Emeruwa should understand that history will not be kind to him as his name will be documented in the annals of history as the Speaker that spearheaded one of the most trouble stricken House of Assembly in the History of the State. He should seek the co-operation of all members irrespective of party affiliations/divides in resolving this quagmire that is about to tear the House apart.

On his part, The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti OFR, instead of sitting on the fence, can wade in, call all parties involved with a view to resolving this issue that will soon turn the State to a laughing stock.

Time is indeed ticking for the Executive Arm of government to forward those correspondences to the Abia State House Assembly for deliberations, but the fact remains that a chaotic Abia Assembly currently, cannot entertain correspondences which is why the Chief Executive of the State must, as a matter of urgency, do the needful even if it will involve doing the lobbying to calm all frayed nerves.

Izuchukwu Nwokoma is a Journalist, Public Affairs Analyst.

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