From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, described the comment by Smart Adeyemi against Abia Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, as irresponsible.
Adeyemi had, while contributing to debate in the Senate, on Tuesday, reportedly described Ikpeazu as a ‘drunkard’.
However, the PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused Adeyemi of using the Senate chamber to launch an unprovoked attack on Ikpeazu and the people of Abia State.
The opposition party said: “Adeyemi must have noted the widespread national detestation and opprobrium that he had brought to himself by his unguarded comment against the highly respected Governor Ikpeazu and the people of Abia State.
“Moreover, our party has equally noted that Adeyemi’s uncouth comment is borne out of bitter envy for the achievements of Governor Ikpeazu in every sector of life in Abia State, which no All Progressives Congress governor, including Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State can compare.
“The PDP, therefore, issues a very strong warning that it would not stomach any such unwarranted and unprovoked attack on any of our governors, but will deploy all instruments provided in a democratic setting against such individual.
“Our party urges Governor Ikpeazu not to be distracted by sidetracking elements such as Adeyemi, but to continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to his people.”
This came as a member of the House of Representatives, Uko Ndukwe Nkole, protested Adeyemi’s disparaging comment.
The lawmaker representing Arochukwu/Ohafia federal constituency, in separate letters to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, and the House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, expressed disappointment over Adeyemi’s comment on Ikpeazu, describing it as unparliamentary.
While stating that the senator’s comment is in bad taste, Nkole said the outburst by Adeyemi was a breach of his privilege as a member of the National Assembly.
“I must quickly remind the senator that no court of law has convicted or fined Governor lkpeazu over drunkenness. Neither has the Abia State House of Assembly, the body with statutory oversight over Governor lkpeazu, at any point in time, found him to be a drunkard, that ordinarily would have necessitated such undistinguished vituperation by Adeyemi.
“Governor lkpeazu was never the subject of the motion being debated and by no stretch should his name have come up negatively in the course of Adeyemi’s contribution.”
Consequently, Nkole urged Lawan to direct the expunging of the ‘unsubstantiated uncomplimentary comment’ against Ikpeazu by Adeyemi from the record of proceeding of the Senate plenary on Tuesday.
The Abia lawmaker demanded that “Adeyemi should without delay and within the next two legislative days on the floor of the Senate, publicly retract his statement against Governor Ikpeazu and other well-meaning people of Arochukwu/Ohafia federal constituency and Abians that freely elected Ikpeazu the leader and governor of my home state, Abia.”
Furthermore, Nkole demanded that Adeyemi apologise in “clear and unambiguous language for his undignified outburst.”
However, he added that in the event that Adeyemi fails to retract and apologise, Lawan and Gbajabiamila should call for a joint sitting of the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the two chambers of the National Assembly to investigate the matter within two weeks to enable Adeyemi substantiate his claims against Ikpeazu.