By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI — GOVERNOR Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State, yesterday, flayed attempt by some people to pit him against members of the State House of Assembly and Izzi clan, following last week’s impeachment of Speaker of the House, Chukwuma Nwazunku.
Briefing newsmen at Government House, Abakaliki, the governor made reference to a publication which was meant to set him against the lawmakers and said efforts were on to reconcile all the House members to ensure peace and stability across the state.
He said: “That is the first segment of what happened this week. Now you will agree with me that since then, different people have reacted differently. In some cases, the reaction bordered on security, some on
“Of course, in my own case, you will expect people to mention my name, particularly those around me. Things I never heard of and never happened were said about me. But I was not bothered.
“The truth shall be made manifest soon. As media practitioners, you must have seen the publication in Daily Sun newspapers of yesterday, captioned, ‘Our stand on Ebonyi State House of Assembly crisis, and the hidden threat to impeach Governor Martin Elechi.’
”It is from people who call themselves chairman and secretary respectively of a body known as Ebonyi State Democratic Movement. A person called Mathais Egwu is said to be the chairman and another person called Sunday Nwankwo is the secretary.
“I have read the publication and seen that it is a calculated attempt to put me on head on collision with members of the State House of Assembly. It is also an attempt to denigrate me with the Izzi people, my in-laws.
”On Monday, the 21st day of this month, we woke up to hear about the impeachment of the speaker of our House of Assembly and if you recall what has happened since 2011, this is about the third in the series of impeachments and I invited the honourable members of the state House of Assembly and heard from both sides and my position has been made clear.
“First, I concede the right of the House members to effect changes in their leadership whenever they feel the need arises
”Second, they should do so with regard to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and, third, and most important, they should ensure that in doing so that the integrity, dignity and honour of the House is maintained.”
The governor said it was imperative for the State House of Assembly to effect leadership changes when necessary without causing disaffection and division in the state.
He lamented the current development in the State House of Assembly, stressing that he would continue to mediate until lasting peace was restored in the House.
”It is still my position that while changes can be made when necessary, we must ensure that in making those changes, we do it in a way that leaves us united and respectable.
“If you also recall that since the present democratic dispensation came into being, for the first 11 years, Ebonyi State House of Assembly was generally regarded as the most peaceful in the country, but from December 2011 till now, the reverse is the case. That is of great concern to me.
“Admittedly, we belong to different arms of government but the security of the state lies squarely on me and in trying to ensure that members make changes, they must collectively ensure the peace and security of this state.
“That is the first segment of what happened this week; you will agree with me that ever since then, people have reacted differently, some reactions bordered on peace and security.
”Both trajectories are condemnable and I appeal to people of goodwill in the state and beyond to disregard the publication.
“Their intention is evil and all it is about is condemnable. We would continue to mediate to ensure that we have a peaceful House of Assembly and not of impeachment and suspension,” Governor Elechi said.