Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
There is anxiety at the Imo State House of Assembly over the impeachment rumour being peddled by mostly the opposition members of the house to impeach the Speaker, Chiji Collins.
According to the rumour peddlers, the plot which have been put on hold because of the shutdown of the house as a result of some members of the house who tested positive for the Coronavirus may be executed when the house resumes sitting.
However, the Speaker when contacted said he is not afraid of them, he maintained that those behind it are minority from the house who were not happy over the change of government in the State.
He accused the lawmakers of being selfish and not seeing the realities of moving on in the interest of the citizens of the State.
The Speaker however fingered the former governor of the State, Emeka Ihedioha who he said is allegedly using the honourable member from his sister constituency, Anyadike Nwosu from Ezinihitte Mbaise who is also a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)to distabilise the house.
According to the Speaker “Which House of Assembly leadership do they want to impeach do they know that this house is continuity from Ihedioha to governor Hope Uzodinma. If he says the leadership has messed up then he is the problem.
“I was speaker under Ihedioha, we did marvelously well and Ihedioha applauded us. We passed so many good motions and laws as one of the best leadership of the House of Assembly in Nigeria. Even Ihedioha, confirmed it.
“Is it because Anyadike, is coming in as a minority after his brother Ihedioha was removed by the supreme court.
“We know that some people will be jealous, you don’t know him until you give him a position but I promise you they can not do anything, they are few minority who do not want to agree that the supreme court have given its verdict and we have only one governor now.” The Speaker affirmed.
Despite the threat, the Speaker has boasted that non of those behind the plot can impeach him, just as he added that the house knows exactly what to do to any members who he said are rebelling against it.
“If Hope Uzodimma, a thorough breed, a fighter, an experienced lawmaker bulldoze Emeka Ihedioha out of the way not talk of his subjects here. People like us we don’t talk much at the right time we will do the right thing.
“We are only keeping quiet because the house is presently shutdown as a result of one or two members who tested positive for the virus, when we come back, we know exactly what to do, if it’s in the military, they will face execution, so we know how to deal with any erring member according to the law of the house . Collins said.
Meanwhile, Anyadike has exhonerated Ihedioha from the alleged plot insisting that he has never spoken or seen him since he left office, also maintaining that the allegation on him is just an imagination on the mind of the Speaker .
“In law who alleges must prove, he is alleging we are trying to destabilise the house and impeach him, it’s only existing in the mind of the Speaker, besides, Ihedioha has come and gone , he is in Abuja, not even in Imo State, I hardly communicate with him, the Speaker is only finding it difficult to own up to his own ineptitude that has really kept the house where it is now.
“We have never had technical meeting of the house, so if he thinks we are trying to destabilise the house with the help of Ihedioha, let him explain how, do we have the capacity to mobilise the house, so what we are saying is that what is bad is bad, let the right thing be done, I can’t go for his job, I’m from minority.
Another lawmaker also mentioned in the impeachment plot, Ngozi Obiefule representing Isu/Njaba State constituency has also denied any contact with Ihedioha or anybody to impeach the Speaker, she has also showed no remorse in the involvement.
According to Obiefule “For the pass 14 days I have been in my house for quarantine and I don’t think anybody will claim that he has seen me in anybody’s house, but if the Speaker thinks that he has done something that warrants his impeachment, he will be impeached and he will be asked to resign.
“He should not be threatening members , last time he said I will be suspended. You can not subdue or emasculate your members by threat.
“He might be imposed on us by the Executive but whether he stays or he goes, it is at our own leisure.
So if he knows he has issues, he should handle them and plead with the members not threatening them, threatening then is unacceptable.
“If the Speaker does something that warrants him to resign, he will be asked to resign. All of us came as representatives of our local governments, non of us came as deputy speaker or speaker.
“Those are appointments. So if he wants to retain that his duty position, he must make sure he looks out for the interest of the members not for himself. Obiefule said.
The Speaker, has also explained the reason why the salaries of the lawmakers were delayed which is also said to be another reason why the opposition members are spoiling for war against the Speaker.
According to the Speaker, “the present verification exercise undertaken by the State government to determine real staff of the state got to the turn of the house members and they ignorantly refuse to know this, I told them to be patient, is that how I’m not being a good leader, they are just playing out the script of their pay masters”. Collins said.
Also, a source close to the former governor who do not want his name mentioned has alleged that Ihedioha may not have given up his ambition to unseat governor Hope Uzodinma, the source claim the sure way of inchning closer to the position is by removing the Speaker.
The source also alleged that the former governor is still shopping for a Judge that will give a favorable judgement against Uzodimma’s candidacy of APC.