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Edo House Speaker sent out of Makurdi conference

By  Peter Duru

MAKURDI — The crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly reared its head in Makurdi, weekend, at the just concluded Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, when the Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, Bright Omonkhodion,  was allegedly walked out of the gathering by 35 other Speakers.

The Speaker, who stormed out of Benue Government House banquet hall venue of the conference, refused to disclosed the reasons why his colleagues from the other 35 states of the federation threw him out of the conference.

However, in a communiqué at the end of the two-day summit, Chairman of the Conference and Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Mr. Haruna Istifanus Gbanna, recalled the crisis that had engulfed the Edo State House of Assembly and the factionalisation of the House leadership.

 ‘Why he was sent out’

 Gbanna explained that the Conference premised its decision not to recognise the Edo State Speaker on the fact that the Edo Assembly was still in crisis hence it was only logical that the factions in the crisis resolve their pending cases at the courts before seeking recognition at the Conference of Speakers.

Meanwhile, in a swift reaction to the expulsion of Mr. Bright Omonkhodion from the Conference of Speakers, the Afemai Peoples’ Forum, APF, an umbrella body of Edo people, congratulated the Nigerian Speakers Conference for its decision.

In a statement issued in Makurdi and signed by its National Chairman, Isah Aliyu, the group stated that “by preventing Mr. Omon-khodion from the meeting, the Speakers of the other 35 states’ Houses of Assembly in Nigeria have demonstrated that the sanctity of our democratic institutions runs paramount in their hearts.

“Edo State has been politically restive for the past one year. We are happy because we believe that through the collective efforts of all, the already muscled legislative arm of government in the state and many others will be rescued,” the statement read.

 Edo House

 It would be recalled that few weeks back, members of the Edo State House of Assembly engaged each other in a fight.

It culminated in the alleged sacking of Zakawanu Garuba of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as Speaker of the House by 13 legislators, members of Action Congress, AC, in the House.

The development has left the House in crisis and a leadership tussle that has also polarised the Assembly along party lines.


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