Conduct Election For ‘Vacant’ Rivers Assembly Seats, Ugochinyere Tells INEC

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A member of the House of Representatives, representing Ideato federal constituency of Imo State and Spokesperson for opposition coalition lawmakers in the National Assembly,
Hon. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere,
has again insisted on the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately conduct a bye-election for the replacement of the Rivers State House of Assembly members who defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ugochinyere said this becomes urgent to prevent what he called the ongoing legislative rascality by the former lawmakers who, according to him, lost their membership of the House of Assembly after they resigned from PDP to APC when there was no crisis or division in the umbrella party against the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

According to the federal lawmaker, the immediate conduct of the election to fill those vacant positions was the only antidote to stop the former lawmakers from parading themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and siting in a two bedroom in a hideout in Abuja allegedly causing breakdown of law and order.

Ugochinyere, who is the spokesperson of opposition parties members in the House of Representatives under the auspices of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) made these assertions during a media broadcast.

He blamed INEC for its failure to conduct a bye-election to fill those vacancies, hence giving the former lawmakers the effrontery to defecate on the institution of the Nigerian democracy and its Constitution which is the ground norm.

“I am blaming INEC. INEC is supposed by now to have conducted elections in those vacant seats in Rivers State because those lawmakers, twenty something of them have decamped from PDP. The constitution is very clear, that is automatic.

“All of them have decamped to join APC at time PDP has no single division. That clause is automatic; their tenure have expired, their membership of Rivers State House of Assembly has expired. It does not matter wherever they are so any of them parading on the streets of Rivers State is supposed to be arrested by the citizens because he is an impersonator not a lawmaker,” the chairman House Committee on Petroleum Downstream said.

Ugochinyere called on the remaining legitimate members of the Rivers State House of Assembly to elect a speaker for the conduct of legislative business, insisting that the state can not be governed without the legislature.

“So I am calling on the remaining members of the Rivers State House of Assembly even if they are one, even if they are two, even they are 10 to immediately announce a new speaker. That place can not continue to be governed without a House of Assembly. Announce a speaker, the seats have already been declared vacant when Ehie was there and now that he has resigned and is now the Chief of Staff let there be an acting speaker and let INEC conduct an election to fill those vacant seats.

“How can you implement a law made by somebody who is in Ogbete market? How can you implement a law made by somebody who is not a lawmaker? Some people gather themselves as former lawmakers and say they have made law. How can you make a law when you have lost your seat? Because you join APC, you think you can be protected by institution of the ruling party. I don’t think Asiwaju should be supporting that kind of rascality because if somebody has done that in the Lagos State House of Assembly nobody will tolerate it.

“So, if people do it in Rivers State, it can not be tolerated. So the opposition has stated it clearly let the three members or five members announce an acting speaker immediately. I say immediately and we will support them to carry out their activities 100% and ensure that the state continues to run its democratic institutions. Because it can not continue to wait when INEC conducts that election for us to have a full house as far as the constitution is concerned; the other seats are vacants.

“What Amaewhule or whatever they call him is doing that is legislative madness, I don’t know the right word to use;
that is rascality. He is not a speaker because he is not a lawmaker. For you to be a speaker you must be a lawmaker,” he said.

He called on Nigerians to wade into the situation to save the state from anarchy and the governor who has constitutional duty to secure Rivers to ensure that the rascality and illegality is tamed.

“So, people must be able to tell them the simple truth. The governor has the duty as the chief security officer to ensure that they do not parade or sit in any facility of the government of Rivers. Anywhere you see them you are suppose to grab them and hand over to security agencies because they are going to conduct activities that will lead to the breakdown of law and order. That is your duty to protect lives and property.

“So a group of people can not put themselves together and go and be sitting as lawmakers, changing laws giving themselves powers to appoint executive positions. I even heard they amended the procurement laws. All these jokes are tantamount to nothing and I urged the Governor to ensure that the provisions and spirit of that constitution are protected at all cost and I repeat at all cost for the institution of democracy to survive,” Ugochinyere added.

Source link: Leadership

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