Ibori, Okowa Mounting Pressure on Delta Assembly to Reinstate Impeached Speaker, Igbuya

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Few hours after his impeachment, the former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Monday Igbuya has started rallying round power brokers in the state to mount pressure on asse lawmakers to reverse their decision.

It was learnt that among those mounting pressure on the lawmakers for the speaker’s reinstatement include, the ex-convicted former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, the incumbent Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa and some prominent leaders of the Urhobo nation.

On Thursday morning during plenary, 22 out of the 29 members of the House voted had voted to impeach the speaker and immediately replaced him with the member representing Okpe constituency, Sheriff Oboriowori.

Members of the Delta State House of Assembly have insisted that the former speaker of the House, Monday Igbuya, representing Sapele constituency, stands impeached and suspended for three months.

The House also elected the member representing Isoko South constituency 2, Johnson Erijo, as the new majority leader of the House.

Erijo, who moved the motion for the speaker’s impeachment after 22 members had signed for the impeachment, said the impeachment became necessary following what he called the former speaker’s deception, highhandedness, and incompetence, adding that Igbuya’s leadership style was unacceptable to the House.

He stated that for the House to move forward, a new speaker was needed, as the state legislature was key to the growth of democracy and development of the state.

The motion, which was seconded by the member representing Oshimili South constituency and former speaker of the House, Peter Onwusanya, was unanimously adopted, following which the deputy speaker who presided called for the nomination of the new speaker.

In his acceptance speech, Sheriff Oboriowori, who was immediately sworn-in to relevant oaths of office and allegiance as speaker by the clerk of the House, Lyna Ocholor, promised to adhere strictly to the rules of the House.

Oboriowori immediately announced the dissolution of all standing committees of the House and adjourned to Tuesday, May 23.

However, to reverse their decision, a meeting with the lawmakers and the state governor at government house in Asaba on Thursday morning to reinstate Mr. Igbuya as the speaker which lasted several hours ended in a deadlock and was rescheduled for another hour Thursday’s evening.

The lawmakers have vowed that Ibori and Okowa wading into the matter would not make them reconsider their initial decision, even as Igbuya and his supporters are insisting that he remains the speaker.

Reacting to the impeachment, the deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Cairo Ojougboh, described as criminal the removal of Igbuya as speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly.

While advising Igbuya not to be despaired, Ojougboh said the removal of the speaker is a victory for his person and the genuine democratic forces in Delta State.

According to Ojoughoh, Igbuya was removed from office because he accompanied James Ibori to visit the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson.

“His problem with Governor Okowa started immediately after that visit but we must state that Monday Igbuya has served well and we are proud of his services to the people of Delta State. Governor Okowa should be reminded that power belongs to God and that it is transient,” he said.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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