By Henry Umoru
For over 10 minutes on Tuesday, Senators Ifeanyi Ubah and Chukwuka Utazi were locked in a shouting match over disparaging comments made by some Nigerians over Innoson Vehicles chief executive, Chief Innocent Chukwuma.
It took the intervention of the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, to return the hallowed chambers of the Senate to normalcy for conducive legislative activities.
Trouble started when Senator Chukwuka Utazi(PDP, Enugu North), at the beginning of Senate plenary, came up with a point of order to draw the attention of senators to alleged disparaging comments made by some Nigerians against the Managing Director of Innoson Vehicles, Chief Innocent Chukwuma.
Utazi,(YPP Anambra South) who came under order 43 of the Senate Standing Orders as Amended, which has to do with self-explanation, however, alleged that there were orchestrated attempts by some Nigerians to run down the Innoson MD.
He said: ”It was highly disturbing and worrisome that such plots are coming from people within the same geo-zone with the industrial giant.
“Chief Innocent Chukwuma has done more than enough in getting the country industrialised as far as automobile sector is concerned, for some people to be ganging up against him, which must be condemned by the Senate.”
However, before Utazi completed his submissions, some other senators from the South-East geo-political zone, countered him, wondering why such a local issue should be brought to the floor of the Senate.
At this point, the noise of the angered lawmakers made the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, to direct Utazi to end his submission, describing it as controversial.
The Senate took exception to local issues surrounding the Managing Director of Innoson Vehicles, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, which was brought to its floor by Senator Utazi and countered by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.
Lawan said: “Please Distinguished Senator Utazi, rest your case on this motion which has already stirred controversy because this chamber should not be reduced to this type of discussion.”
Even at that, the noise the motion generated heightened with voice of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah sounding louder than those of others.
Senator Ubah, who was later excused into the tea room by some other senators to quell the rancorous session, shouted at the top of his voice, saying nobody from his constituency was against the Innoson MD.
He wondered why a senator from Enugu State took it upon himself to mislead the Senate on non- existing attacks on an illustrious son of Anambra State.
Senator Ubah later addressed journalists with a prepared press statement entitled: “Ifeanyi Ubah: The Biggest Patroniser of Innoson Vehicles in South-East”.
The lawmaker, who was visibly not comfortable with the media report, said as a representative of the chairman and chief Executive, Innoson Group, Innocent Chukwuma, in the Senate, he remained the greatest patroniser of the business mogul’s company.