Crisis in Imo State assembly over plot to sack speaker
Again, retirees protest against pension arrears, ISOPADEC workers demand payment
There are indications that anytime the Imo State House of Assembly reconvenes, the 27 lawmakers may commence impeachment processes against the Speaker, Dr. Chiji Collins.
The Imo State COVID-19 Containment Task Force led by Professor Maurice Iwu, had earlier directed the members to proceed on isolation, following a member, who tested positive for coronavirus and to enable other members to undergo testing.
Subsequently, 13 members tested positive for the virus, even as the House remained in recess since it was closed for decontamination.
The Guardian learnt that the lawmakers are aggrieved over the way Collins was handling the affairs of the assembly, alleging that he was domineering and had failed to act on the payment of their salaries and allowances, urging him to resign or face impeachment.
One of the lawmakers urged the speaker to either reconvene the House or they would invoke House rules and reconvene, adding that if such an option was applied, Collins would find things difficult.
However, Collins refuted all allegations against him, claiming that the four PDP members were enlisting the support of other members and an influential former governor of the state to impeach him and Governor Hope Uzodinma.
On labour matters, scores of Imo retirees converged on the Freedom Square, Owerri yesterday to protest against non-payment of their 80 months pension arrears.
They started gathering at the venue before 9 a.m, asking Governor Uzodimma to pay them their accumulated pensions to enable them to feed their families, buy drugs and meet other needs.
The pensioners, who are angry that they had not been paid their pensions for five months, dismissed Uzodinma’s recent claim that he had paid genuine retirees up to June.
Also, workers of the Imo State Oil Producing Development Commission (ISOPADEC) protested non-payment of three months salaries covering April, May and June.
Led by Chinedu Awuzie, they blocked the entrance to Government House, Owerri for several hours, demanding payment of outstanding salary arrears, just as they refused to be addressed by Chief of Staff (COS), Government House.
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