November 29, 2018

Tension in Anambra as assembly factions plan separate sittings today

By Vincent Ujumadu

AWKA—TENSION is mounting in Awka, the Anambra State capital, as the two factions of the state House of Assembly vow to outdo each other at gaining entry into the legislative  chambers today, despite the sealing off of the assembly by the police.

Assembly Mace

At press time, the two factions were alleged to be strategising at two separate venues in Awka, even as Vanguard gathered that the faction led by the member representing Aguata 11 constituency, Mr. Ikem Uzoezie, had been depleted through the action of agents of the state government.

Vanguard gathered last night that the embattled speaker, Mrs. Rita Maduagwu, who was allegedly impeached on November 13, 2018 by the Uzoezie faction, had mustered enough members and was therefore planning to sit very early today to take radical decisions that might affect the lawmakers supporting Uzoezie.

However, on learning about the plan, the Uzoezie group met yesterday and also decided to go to the House of Assembly as early as possible to thwart the plan by the speaker and her faction.

According to a member of the Uzoezie gfaction, Maduagwu and her supporters would not gain access to the House to sit today

He said: “Those who are planning to conduct illegal plenary at Anambra State House of Assembly on Thursday morning should be aware that the people of Anambra are mobilizing to the House of Assembly complex to protest the police siege on the House and also to prevent illegal sitting by Rita Madugwu, who is sponsored by the executive arm and the Police.

“We say no to the impeached former Speaker conducting any sessions under any cover.”

As at press time, Vanguard could not ascertain the number of lawmakers controlled by each of the factions, but there were indications that neither of the groups could boast of two-thirds majority.

Except for a police patrol van stationed at the gate of the House of Assembly, security was relaxed yesterday.

Vanguard recalls that 20 out of 30 members of the legislature, led by Uzoezie, had tried to remove the speaker on November 13, but for the intervention of some top state government officials, including the secretary to the state government, SSG, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, and the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Primus Odili.

It was indeed Uzoezie that moved the motion to impeach the speaker and was seconded by the only Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, member in the House, Mr. Onyebuchi Offor.