Tony John, Port Harcourt
Members of the Rivers State House of Assembly has countered alleged intimidation and marginalisation against the Speaker, Ikunyi Owaji-Ibani by a lawmaker, Hon. Martins Mannah.
The denial came on the heels of an allegation by the lawmaker, representing Ahoada East Constituency I, Mannah, who had raised the alarm that some members were intimidated and denied funds for constituency projects, for not being loyal to the speaker.
Mannah, who, at the weekend, defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also decried absence of training for the legislators, saying lack of training has affected the performances of the lawmakers and legislations in the state.
But, in a swift reaction, the House Committee Chairman on Information and Communication, Sam Ogeh, described the allegations as baseless, unwarranted and figment of Mannah’s imagination.
Ogeh told journalists, on Sunday, in Port Harcourt, that the House freely conducts its legislative business without any intimidation or influence from any angle.
He urged Mannah to provide evidence of his claim, maintaining that that no funds for constituency projects were withheld as alleged by the lawmaker
Speaking further, the Committee chairman added that several constituency projects by the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration are ongoing across the state, including Ahoada East”
Ogeh’s words, “Mannah has the right to associate himself with any political party he desires. The Eighth Assembly is not in any way under any form of intimidation. The House freely conducts its legislative business. The House is intact and not hungry. This allegations shows his motive as he has demonstrated”.
Ogeh said the Assembly would have ignored the allegations, adding that there was no disaffection among lawmakers. He also assured that the Assembly would address the issues when it returns from recess.