Kogi House Of Assembly: Truce At Last | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Kogi House Of Assembly: Truce At Last

Kogi House
Posted: Jul 30, 2016 at 3:49 am   /   by   /   comments (0)




With the resolution of crisis in the Kogi State House of Assembly, all is now set for full legislative activities in the confluence state. The resolution of the crisis followed the resignation of the embattled Speaker, Momoh Jimoh Lawal, and the election of Hon. Umar Imam, a member of G5 as the new speaker of the Assembly.

In his acceptance speech as Speaker, Hon. Imam from Kogi West Senatorial District, announced the preparedness of the assembly to continue its legislative functions after the unfortunate saga that paralysed activities in the house for more than five months.

He said, “The State Assembly is back and ready to deliver on its roles through collaboration with other arms of government and critical stakeholders in ensuring good governance.

“Our firm course of action in salvaging the State from economic recession currently bedeviling our great Nation shall be unwavering and uncompromising in achieving prosperity.

“We are, thus, challenged to renew our resolve to the task of State building and to make certain that the new direction of this administration leads us to the transformative changes we all deserve in our socio-economic and political lives and in meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the great people of Kogi State.”

Before the election of the new speaker, Hon. Aliyu Akuh, deputy speaker, presiding over the plenary, read the resignation letter to the 23 members that were present, saying that the former speaker had to take the decision to save the integrity and the sanctity of the legislature.

Moving the motion for the commencement of the sitting, after over five months of infighting, the majority leader and member representing Kabba/Bunu constituency, Hon. Matthew Kolawole thanked members for their resilience in  the struggle to enthrone legislative independence, noting that the resignation of Momoh jimoh Lawal as speaker was an  affirmation of the house resolve to settle their differences without external forces .

In his resignation letter, the former speaker noted that he would have loved to continue the struggle to validate his impeachment by G5 but had to consider the interest of the state above his personal consideration hence his decision to throw in the towel.

He said, “Let me quickly add that I’m not a quitter but as the leader of this noble House, I must put Kogi first. My resignation as a speaker of this House was a difficult decision, but I do believe, it is the right thing to do. This I’m sure will bring joy to some and anger to others. To those who believed in legislative democracy but, I do understand your anger and frustration.

“To my Honourable colleagues who stood by me in the struggles to uphold the sanctity of the legislature, I thank you and will forever cherish your love and solidarity.

“To the judiciary , I doff my heart for believing in the tenets of democratic values and to my constituents I share in your frustration and pledge to devote the rest of my  legislative tenure to serve you better.To My good friends in the media profession, I thank you for your support and understanding.”

Shortly after reading Lawal’s resignation letter, Hon.  Akuh called for nomination to fill the vacant position of speaker,  which the majority leader Kolawole nominated Hon. Umar Imam representing Lokoja 1  constituency who was elected unopposed by the members.

With the election of the new speaker Umar Iman of the APC which has 11 as against the PDP’s 14 members have foreclosed the crisis that almost tore the Assembly to shreds even as all other principal officers maintained their positions except the former Chief Whip Hon. Friday Sani who lost to Hon. Kekere Sani of Okehi state constituency.

Since February 16, when a group of five lawmakers sat and impeached Lawal as speaker, the state assembly has been in crisis.

Yahaya Bello, governor of the state was alleged to be a great supporter of the minority group.

Independent gathered that the emergence of Hon. Imam, factional speaker during the period of the crisis believed to be the choice of Gov. Bello was part of the conditions given by the governor for peace to reign in the assembly.

The governor who hails from Kogi Central senatorial district, believes having a speaker from a minority area and from another senatorial zone would balance power equation in the state since the deputy governor is from the east.

Another observer explained that the governor was pursuing a personal agenda by insisting that Hon.  Lawal must not continue to function as speaker while he remains as governor of the state. Now that the assembly members have put the ugly incident behind them, it is pertinent, according to observers, that members wake up to their responsibilities in order to recover the lost grounds.

Political analysts want members to consider the interest of the state as paramount and work towards making laws that would ensure the transformation of the state, which has been adjudged to be lagging behind in terms of provision of infrastructures.

There is need, according observers, for members of the House of Assembly to put aside tribal sentiments and political differences towards ensuring that dividends of democracy are delivered to the people that voted them in.

According to Hon. Simeon Maha, a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), people of the state want the members to settle down and allow peace to reign.

He said, “We are praying that issues pertaining to the governorship election being challenged at Appeal Court are resolved as fast as possible. Members of the state assembly should also allow the interest of the state dominate whatever laws they make”.