Friday, 8 March 2013

Crisis hits Rivers Assembly over Amaechi

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi  Amaechi
Rivers State House of Assembly was on Thursday thrown into confusion as lawmakers disagreed on a motion to pass a vote of confidence in the state Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
Twenty-six  of  32 members of the Assembly supported the motion presented by the House Leader, Mr. Chidi Lloyd, while three others, believed to be followers of the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, opposed the motion. Three lawmakers were absent.
Amaechi and Wike had been involved in a long battle of political supremacy in the state.
A member representing Obio/Akpor II in the House, Mr. Michael Chinda, had opposed the "vote of confidence" motion, arguing that the achievements of the governor was part of his duties as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
Known to be Wike's strong ally, Chinda said Amaechi owed the people of the state the responsibility to protect their lives and property.
"This motion ought not to come to this hallowed chambers because the governor has only performed his duties," Chinda said, adding that the delay in the completion of the East-West Road was because of other competing federal projects.
Chinda said the Assembly should pass a motion compelling the Federal Government to allot more funds to the road project rather than passing a vote of confidence in the governor.
However, the Speaker of the House, Otelemaba Amachree, who appeared not to be comfortable with the argument, barred one of the opponents of the motion, Mr. Martin Amaewule, from contributing to the issue.
Peeved by the development, Amaewhule called other lawmakers' attention to Order 38, Rule 1 of the House, even as his effort to speak proved unsuccessful.
The rowdy session forced the Speaker to ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest Amaewhule.
Lloyd, who presented the motion, urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to allow political jobbers to distract him, recalling that the state gave him the highest votes in the 2011 presidential election.
Parts of his motion read, "That the people of Rivers State do herein restate our total confidence in the person, leadership, disposition, and response of Governor Rotimi Amaechi to the centripetal political forces of the Nigerian State.
"You will recall that in recent past our governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors' Forum has come under premeditated political attacks by reason of his principled position in presenting issues that affect the vision and mission of Rivers people.
"Rivers people did not vote for the governor to sit in Government House and watch sister states excise from us sections of our people, and property.
"Again, Rivers people did not vote for the governor to sit in Government House and watch the East-West road devalue the Rivers economy and/or our people roasted like chicken in recurrent but avoidable accidents on the East-West Road."

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