•It’s not true, says aide
From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The rumoured governorship ambition of the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Acho Ihim, has allegedly set him and a section of the lawmakers on a collision course.
The lawmakers are demanding the immediate resignation or impeachment of the Speaker, who is also president of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Africa Region.
But the media aide to the speaker, Mr. Ben Ilochuonwu, has dismissed the alleged plot by some lawmakers to impeach the speaker over his ambition to succeed Governor Rochas Okorocha in 2019 as an unfounded rumour. He said the speaker has no governorship such ambition.
He pointed out that the speaker and members of the House have been working in harmony ever since he was elected by his peers.
Daily Sun reliably gathered that some aggrieved lawmakers who allegedly accused the speaker of making the Assembly an extension of the Government House over his alleged gubernatorial ambition, resolved after a meeting at the home of a top politician in the state, to remove the speaker if he failed to resign.
One of the aggrieved legislators who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We have never had it so bad in this state where legislators have lost so much respect among the populace because of the ambition of the speaker who has turned himself as an aide of the governor. Because of his ambition to become governor in 2019, he is undermining the powers of the legislature to the extent that allowances due to members of the House are not paid to them.
“We have, therefore, resolved to ask the speaker to resign honourably or we will be forced to remove him in accordance with the constitution for incompetence.”
He said process of getting the required two-third majority has begun.
The lawmaker pointed out that they were not against the ambition of the speaker, but that it must not be at the detriment of members of the House of Assembly.
It is only in this dispensation that a speaker who is the number three man would be kept waiting by the Chief of Staff of the governor, he lamented.
Meanwhile, one of the allies of the Speaker, Henry Uzoma Ezediaro, representing Oguta constituency, dismissed the alleged plot by lawmakers to change the leadership of the Assembly. He said the speaker has always ensured that members got their legitimate entitlements and that the rumoured governorship ambition of the speaker was not true.
“There is no problem in the House and there is no division. It is not true that members want to impeach the speaker because we have been getting our legitimate entitlements as at when due. So, it is nothing but a mere rumour.
“Besides, there is nothing wrong if the speaker is nursing the ambition to be governor but to say that some members of the House are plotting to impeach him on that basis is totally false, as the speaker has never told anyone, to the best of my knowledge, that he wants to contest for the governorship of the state in 2019.”