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Abia House of Assembly for inauguration today, •Speakership tussle splits PDP

By Agwu Okojogho, Umuahia on 11/06/2015

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The 6th Abia State House of Assembly will be inaugurated at noon today in Umuahia. The event, originally scheduled for last Monday, June 8, was postponed indefinitely, according to the Clerk/Permanent Secretary of the House, Mr. Johnpedro Irokansi, due to non-issuance of Certificate of Return to the winner of the House of Assembly election in Isiala Ngwa South.

Though it is not clear if the said certificate has been issued, Mr Edwin Enabor, Head, Voter Education (Media and Publicity), at the Abia office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), assured that the certificate was now handy for issuance to the winner of the poll, Mr Chikwendu Kalu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He explained that Kalu was not issued with his certificate alongside his colleagues because the INEC office in Isiala Ngwa South was burnt down during the election and important forms where the results were documented were destroyed. Enabor told newsmen yesterday in Umuahia that the problem has been addressed. This may have prompted Irokansi to issue another announcement through the state-run radio, Broadcasting Corporation of Abia (BCA), urging the House members-elect to rush to the Assembly complex for necessary documentation preparatory to their inauguration today.

Information reaching News Express has it that choosing a Speaker of the House may have split the ruling PDP. The PDP has 13 members, as against 11 for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). As at yesterday, it was alleged that the party was yet to agree on a consensus candidate for the Speakership position.

According to sources, the son of the immediate past governor, Engr. Chinedum Orji, is said to be showing strong interest in the position which has been zoned to Abia Central senatorial zone. But this, according to sources, is being fiercely opposed by the Ngwa in the zone who are arguing that rules of the House which give preference to ranking members to assume the position of Speaker must not be set aside for Chinedum to emerge. They are claiming that Hon. Martins Azubuike from Isiala Ngwa North and one of the few lawmakers staging a comeback should be allowed to lead the House.

The Ngwa are also contesting that Umuahia cannot take both the Senate and the plum position of Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Observers believe that if the PDP fails to keep its house in order, it would pave the way for the emergence of an APGA Speaker. In some circles, the name of Prince Ikedi Ezekwesiri (Umunneochi State Constituency) who made a comeback for a second term in the House, is being mentioned as the candidate that will be thrown up by APGA for the Speakership contest.

•Photo shows Abia House of Assembly Complex.

Source News Express

Posted 11/06/2015 10:58:52 AM





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