Friday, 7 February 2020

C'River lawmakers draw battle line against Ayade.. See reason

Going by the mode of Tuesday's plenary session and the body language of members of the Cross River State House of Assembly, one could deduced that they have had enough from the Executive Governor of the state. Members were literally on fire as they raged with anger over what they called marginalization and noninclusion in the process of  appointment of political appointees and nomination of Local Government candidates for the forthcoming LG Elections. TDN can authoritatively report.

The reactions from members began when two correspondence transmitted by the Governor, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade were read on the floor of the house by the clerk. The first letter carried the governor's request for approval to appoint 30 new Special Advisers while the second was a request to get a N15 billion credit facility from United Bank of Africa, UBA. 

Reacting on the request, members called on the Speaker to turn down the governor's request to appoint 30 new Advisers, according to majority of the members who spoke, they expressed displeasure in the way and manner the governor handled the first approval to appoint 70 Special Advisers. Stating that after the approval was granted, the governor relegated the House of Assembly to the background, rolling out a list of 70 appointments without any input from members of the house. 

Some expressed anger over what they described as marginalization and noninclusion of the lawmakers in deciding and(or) nominating/selection of their party's candidates in the forthcoming local government elections. 

The law makers who were visibly angry citied that noninclusion and marginalization of the Assembly in party politics also informed that since the  inception of the 9th Assembly, the House had always granted the Executive's requests without delay but the reverse is the case when the Assembly tables their request before the governor. 

Speaking on the matter, Rt. Hon. Okon Ephraim, member representing Calabar South 1 said that the governor's action is a deliberate plan to retire the entire 25 house members from politics by 2023. 

"What is happening in the party and state is a conspiracy to ensure that the 25 of us are retired from politics compulsorily, which is wrong. How can we stay and constitute a forum of PDP and we cannot pinpoint at one councillorship candidate? We have never fought your government, we have never protested against you. 

"70 Special Advisers were rolled out, we have not gotten one, another list of 30 has come again and we are going to give approval, it's time to sit down and crosscheck. If we don't fight for our own destiny and fight for our people, nobody will fight for us. We don't have any haven in this government. How can we be sitting down here and be giving approval to everything that comes here and we can not produce at least even a councilor?  It's bad. Anybody that wants to go and report me to anybody should go and report me, I am not afraid." He said. 

In his reaction, the deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Joseph Bassey, he decried the way and manner lawmakers in the state are being treated by the governor stating that the Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly is the only in Nigeria today who doesn't have an official car. 
Calling on the House to stand up for their rights as he is ready to fight the injustice to the end not minding if it cost him his position as deputy Speaker. 

Also speaking on the matter, Hon. Elizabeth Ironbar, member representing Akpabuyo state Constituency noted that the entire members of the house are aggrieved and something needed to be done to curtail the excesses as being displayed by Executive arm of government. She decried a situation where the recently conducted party primaries was brandish with all forms of Illegalities, marginalization, suppression and imposition of candidates. 

At this point the Speaker of the Assembly couldn't condone the atmosphere in the chambers  even when he called for a committee of the whole meeting, there still seem to be a deadlock as members were still in high spirit, sensing the heat, a motion for adjournment of the sitting was called for by the speaker. The motion was moved by the deputy speaker to a latter date when the other correspondence (request for credit facility) will be discussed.