Friday, 12 May 2017

Delta lawmakers reject Ibori’s attempts to reinstate Igbuya as Speaker


Attempts by some power brokers in Delta State to reverse the impeachment of Mr. Monday Igbuya as Speaker of the state House of Assembly have been rebuffed by the 22 lawmakers who championed the impeachment.
Igbuya, who represents Sapele constituency, was impeached at Thursday’s plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Friday Osanebi.
The impeachment wind also swept aside the Majority Leader, Tim Owhefere (Isoko North constituency). Igbuya and Owhefere were subsequently suspended for three months before a new Speaker and new Majority Leader were elected.
While Sheriff Oborivwori (Okpe constituency), a first time House member was elected Speaker, Johnson Erijo (Isoko South constituency II) who has been in the House since 1999 was elected Majority Leader.
Shortly after the impeachment and subsequently election of a new Speaker, the lawmakers rushed to Government House to introduce the new leadership to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
But there was a twist as returnee former governor James Ibori attempted to broker peace at a meeting between Igbuya, political leaders in Urhobo nation, Governor Okowa and the 22 out of 29 lawmakers who spearheaded the impeachment.
Sources at the meeting quoted Ibori as insisting that the House should return to status quo but when the impeachment plotters resisted his position, he said to have claimed that Urhobo nation was not comfortable with Oborivwori.
Governor Okowa who had a four-year stint with the National Assembly as Senator was said to have taken the stakeholders at the meeting through parliamentary course and submitted that it was not legislatively right to reverse the impeachment.
“The impeachment stands as things are presently. We are still meeting and we will reconvene by 3pm. But there is no course for alarm, we have everything under control,” one of the 22 lawmakers who was at the meeting gloated on phone.
Igbuya who was elected Speaker on June 8, 2015 was already planning his second year anniversary before yesterday’s ouster. He has survived no fewer than three impeachment plots in the past.
But the latest was doomed to succeed as he appears to have lost the confidence of majority of t he members who accused him of incompetence, highhandedness and unacceptable style of leadership.
Under urgent matters of public importance, Johnson Erijo moved the motion for the Speaker’s impeachment, saying that for the House to move forward, a new Speaker was needed as the state legislature was key to the growth of democracy and development of the state.
His motion was seconded by the immediate past Speaker, Peter Onwusanya (Oshimili South), and was unanimously adopted, following which the Deputy Speaker called for nomination of the new Speaker.
The plenary held at the hallowed chamber of the state House of Assembly, Okpanam Road, Asaba with both the Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arm, the custodian of the mace in attendance.
Peter Onwusanya then nominated Sheriff Oborivwori for the position of Speaker which was seconded by Daniel Mayuku (Warri South West) while Efe Ofobruku (Uvwie) nominated Eric Oharisi (Ughelli North II), seconded by Daniel Yingi (Burutu I).
Oharisi then announced his stepping down for the first nominee, Oborivwori, who he described as an elder brother, commending the members that nominated him.
The Deputy Speaker, then put the nomination of Oborivwori to vote and was also unanimously carried.
Oborivwori was immediately swore to relevant oaths of office and allegiance as Speaker by the Clerk of the House, Mrs. Lyna Ocholor.
In his acceptance speech, the new Speaker promised to adhered strictly to the rules of House, saying as the first among equals he will accord every member his due respect.
He said he would not allow the integrity of the House to be depleted and called for the support of the House, and immediately announced the dissolution of all standing committees.
Peter Onwusanya then rose again for the removal of Tim Owhefere as the Majority Leader and nominated Johnson Erijo as new Majority Leader. The motion was seconded by Peter Uviejitobor (Udu constituency)
The new Majority Leader, Johnson Erijo, upon moving to his new seat, then moved for the suspension of the impeached Speaker and Majority Leader for three months. His motion was seconded by Eric Oharisi, and was unanimously adopted.
The House in the absence of any other item in the order paper adjourned to Tuesday, 23rd May 2017.
Meanwhile, there was subdued jubilation among staff of the House, who gathered in clusters, discussing the impeachment. They were expressing joy, saying that the impeachment was divine to liberate them from bad governance.

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