The Anambra State House of Assembly has resumed plenary after its annual recess, amidst heightened political uncertainty given the recent defection of some members to the All Progressive Congress – APC, as well as the political peculiarity of the November governorship election.
However, against some speculation that the session may be rowdy or even turn violent, while some predicted that the defected members would be suspended. All that never happened as the House conducted its business of the day as usual and ended peacefully after exhausting its business of the day.
In a motion of urgent importance, the House thanked the governor for the recent enlistment of Anambra state as an oil-producing state. This, many of the members who spoke at the plenary said is a function of the governor’s hard work which has now given life to one of the administration’s four pillars which is oil and gas.
Speaking, Hon. Somto Udeze representing Ogbaru 11 thanked the governor, Chief Willie Obiano, for actualizing the oil-producing status for Anambra state. Hon. Udeze also thanked the senator representing Anambra north, Sen. Stella Oduah, and the member representing Ogbaru federal constituency, Hon. Chu-Chu Onyema for their various contributions in organizing and sensitizing those in the riverine on how they can benefit from the oil-producing states.
Finally, he tasked the governor to make the very best of Anambra’s oil-producing status. For Hon. Beverly, member representing Onitsha South 11, the news of the oil-producing status is a befitting 30th-anniversary gift governor Obiano gave the people of Anambra state. She also expressed gratitude to other governors who have made efforts towards ensuring that Anambra state is recognized as an oil-producing state.
When the House moved to order 9, in the day’s business votes and proceedings which is “personal explanation” by Hon. Dr. Timothy Ifedioranma, the member representing Njikoka 1 constituency, the House nearly took a turn for the worse, after Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Okafor, the majority leader of the House tried to point out that there is no faction in APGA. However, the very timely and strategic intervention of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor returned normalcy.
Hon. Timothy Ifedioranma, Hon. Nonso Okafor, Hon. Cater Umeh and Hon. Lawrence Ezeudu were the four members who declared their notification of defection from APGA to APC. All four-pointed to the faction in APGA as the reason why they defected and joined APC. According to Hon. Timothy, “there is always a cause and effect in any event. Today, I announce my defection to APC”, he said. Next to notify the House was Hon. Lawrence Ezeudu representing Dunukofia constituency. “I have now crossed over to APC”, he said.
After him was Hon. Nonso Okafor representing Nnewi North constituency. “I rise to inform the House that I have defected to APC, due to protracted crisis that has polarized APGA”, Hon. Nonso said.
Finally, Hon. Cater Umeh representing Aguata 1 constituency was the last to notify the House of his move to APC, from APGA. “I rise confidently to inform the House that I am no longer a member of APGA. I have successfully defected to APC. Whoever sees me should regard me as an APC lawmaker in Anambra state.”
It was at this point that Hon. Nnamdi Okafor the majority leader tried to make a case for APGA, pointing that it is misleading for the defected members to say that there is a confusion of leadership in APGA. “APGA is not fractionalized. Our national chairman is Chief Victor Oye. We know who our national chairman is, and he is Chief Victor Oye.”
This led to many side talks among members and no fewer than five to seven members wanted to respond to Hon. Nnamdi’s comment. But seeing how fast the tempo of the House has switched, the Speaker quickly intervened. “Hon. Colleagues, we have to understand that Hon. Nnamdi is speaking as the majority leader of the House. Although, if I am in his shoes I may have said more. However, all of us have three cardinal responsibilities which have nothing to do with a political party. I wish all my colleagues well in their various pursuits”, the Speaker said. He further directed the Clerk of the House Mr. Pius Udoh, to take note of the changes and advice or effect changes, accordingly.
Meanwhile, the Anambra State Anti Open Grazing Bill was presented and also read for the first time. It should be recalled that so far, only Enugu state has presented, passed, and signed the Anti-Open Grazing Bill into law, in the whole of Southeast. It is expected that the Bill be given an accelerated hearing, passed into law, and subsequently assented to, by the governor
Source: Pilot News