Chime Instals New Enugu Speaker, Deputy | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Chime Instals New Enugu Speaker, Deputy

Posted: Jun 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emmanuel Nzomiwu, Enugu

SPECULATIONS that the immediate past Enugu State governor, Sullivan Chime, still calls the shots in the state may have been confirmed by the emergence of his preferred candidates as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly. At the inauguration of the First Session of the Sixth Enugu State House of Assembly on Monday, Edward Ubochi, representing Enugu East Urban Constituency, emerged as Speaker, while Donatus Uzogbado, representing Oji River emerged as Deputy Speaker. Ubochi and Uzogbado, who were members of the last Enugu State House of Assembly, emerged unopposed on the floor of the House on Tuesday June 9, 2015, but it was reliably gathered that their emergence was the outcome of intrigues that played out during a meeting between the new governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and the lawmakers on Sunday night. According to inside sources, while the meeting was going on, Chime walked into the venue and presented the names of his preferred candidates as principal officers of the House, who all belonged to the Group of Nine lawmakers loyal to him in the last House. Chime pencilled down Ubochi for Speaker, Uzogbado for Deputy Speaker and former factional Speaker of the last House, Chinedu Nwamba, as Leader of the House. Tempers reportedly rose at the meeting as soon as Chime presented his list, with some returning lawmakers who belonged to the group of 15 lawmakers in the last House that served him impeachment notice, threatening to stage a walkout. Two of the aggrieved returning lawmakers, Mathias Ekweremadu and Iloabuchi Aniagu, were said to have vehemently opposed Chime’s list, insisting that it was an attempt to witch-hunt them for the role they played in the last House. Our sources, who were in the meeting, said it took Ugwuanyi’s intervention to calm frayed nerves at the meeting and it was agreed that Ubochi and Uzogbado should emerge as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively, while no agreement was reached on positions of Leader, Deputy Leader and Chief Whip. Consequently, at the inauguration of the House on Tuesday, former Leader, Sunday Ude-Okoye, representing Awgu North moved a motion for the House to adopt Ubochi as Speaker and it was seconded by member representing Udenu constituency, Ikechukwu Ezeugwu. The former factional Speaker, Chinedu Nwamba moved a motion for the House to adopt Uzogbado as Deputy Speaker and it was seconded by Nelson Uduji, representing Awgu South. Earlier in a goodwill message to the House, Ugwuanyi, who was represented by the Clerk of the House, Christopher Chukwurah, congratulated all the newly elected lawmakers for offering themselves to serve the state with the mandate of their constituents. “I extend my hand of fellowship to you all bearing in mind that we must assiduously work hard to leave Enugu State better than we met it. “I am confident that we are embarking on a landmark journey that will make us stronger as a state, if we undertake it with all sense of purpose and sincerity. “Let us do that which is selfless, purposeful and patriotic so that history will remember us for having served our state well,” Ugwuanyi said.