Uneasy calm in Enugu as alleged plot to inaugurate Assembly is uncovered
Controversy may have erupted in Enugu State over alleged move by the state government to secretly inaugurate the 8th House of Assembly with only elected members from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), excluding Labour Party (LP) members-elect.
It was gathered that the plot was allegedly reached during a meeting between Governor Peter Mbah and the Clerk of the House, Dr. Emmanuel Udaya.
It was gathered that part of efforts to actualise the plot was alleged removal of the Sergeant in Arms on the flimsy reason that he has become an “old man,” as well as directive to sate Assembly workers to be ready to report for duties anytime they were called upon. It was learnt that Sergeant was removed to pave way for a loyal staff.
The secret plot leaked yesterday, and culminated in a meeting of Labour Party (LP) members-elect. LP had won majority seats in the state Assembly with 14 out of the 24 seats. PDP won 10. The plot, it was learnt, is to enable PDP, which is in the minority, to produce principal officers without LP members-elect raising any objection.
The Guardian gathered that no date has been fixed for the inauguration of the 8th Assembly even when the tenure of the current one would elapse in the next two days.
It was learnt that the Clerk had suggested, during the meeting, that a proclamation be issued in view of time constraints and date announced as soon as possible, while members-elect of the PDP could be invited even at an odd time and get them inaugurated in the absence LP members-elect.
State Chairman of LP, Casmire Agbo, stated, yesterday, that the party would resist any plot to shut out its elected members from the inauguration. He warned that the state government would be inviting chaos in the state should they attempt anything that is unconstitutional.
He said: “What you are hearing is what we heard. There’s no way to authenticate it rather than for us to take measures to curtail it. We are doing something. We’re not keeping quiet.
“If they’re nursing the idea, it’s an anti-democratic norm. It’s recipe for chaos, considering the manner they came in. We’re averse to that. We’re not in support of it. We, in LP, will resist it.”
But when contacted, Clerk of the House, Udaya, denied meeting with Mbah to inaugurate an illegal assembly. Udaya said: “It is not true. The person who told you that should establish the fact. I never met with the governor. The governor never said anything like that. Wherever the information comes from, go and verify from that person, and you should be able to produce him too. You are hearing from the horse’s mouth. The governor never said anything like that. I never met with him too.
“I don’t know what is wrong with people. They think every state inaugurated their House the same day. They were inaugurated at different dates. When you hear that Edo, Ekiti and others have done their own, you don’t know when their own assemblies started.
“If an assembly started in July, you cannot inaugurate another one until the expiration of that particular assembly. As it is now, the 7th Enugu House of Assembly still subsists. Their tenure is running. It is 365 days.”