By Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt
Fresh crisis is brewing in the Rivers State House of Assembly as the lawmaker representing Ahoada East constituency I, Martins Mana on Monday accused the Speaker, Ikunyi Ibanyi of gross mismanagement of the legislature as well as failure to see to the welfare of members and staff of the assembly.
The lawmaker, who was ruled out of order by the speaker while attempting to raise his concern during the plenary on Monday, later spoke to journalists at the assembly complex accusing the speaker of allowing the assembly complex to decay after allegedly receiving N600 miliion from Governor Nyesom Wike for the renovation of the assembly complex and quarters.
He alleged that some new members of the assembly cannot adequately contribute to debate on the floor of the house because of inexperience due to lack of training and exposure.
Mana said; “some members don’t even know how to move motions, some members don’t know how to contribute to debate because they are not educated on legislative business. Staff have not been paid for 17 months and nobody is saying anything about it”.
He added; “Our staff have virtually turned beggars to get transport to come to work. This edifice was built under the watch of Rt.Hon. Rotimi Amaechi by the Odili administration, yet it cannot be maintained by the Speaker, Ikunyi Ibanyi even when the Governor gave N600 million to the speaker to renovate both the quarters and the complex. The whole complex is in a mess; the toilet system is smelling. Spirogyra growing everywhere on the walls and they say we shouldn’t talk? We are voted here by our people to represent them and speak for them”.
He called on the Speaker to resign if he was not capable of piloting the affairs of the assembly, saying that lawmakers cannot afford to disappoint their constituents because of the failure of the current leadership of the assembly.
“While we are talking about the protection of Rivers people on the Friday incident at the court complex, there is need for us to first of all remove the worms in our eyes. Look at the Rivers State House of Assembly where people don’t know their left from their right. We have kept quiet, the tenor is almost ending, and nothing has been achieved, the debate we do is only when the governor sends bills and that’s all.
“We were voted by our people to come here to achieve results, we cannot fail because of one man’s lackadaisical way of doing things. So, if he knows he does not have the competence for delivering democracy dividends to the people by the 8th assembly, he should quietly and honourably resign”.
Meanwhile, following the fracas at the Rivers State Judiciary complex last Friday, the Rivers State House of Assembly has resolved to petition the United Nations and other foreign missions to come to the aid of Rivers people.
The resolution was contained in a motion by the Majority Leader of the House, Martins Amaewhule calling on the house to stand down plenary to allow members to visit the judiciary complex to ascertain the level of damage done by the hoodlums to the complex.
Amaewhule said; “day by day Rivers men and women can no longer sleep because someone in the All Progressives Congress (APC) can call the security agencies and they will unleash mayhem on Rivers indigenes.
“Therefore, I urge that we condemn the attack on the Rivers State Judiciary Complex and take a step further and write the United Nations on the need to save Rivers people from the hands of the APC controlled Federal Government”, he prayed.
After debate, during which mostly PDP members of the house joined in condemning the attack, the Speaker, Ibanyi passed the motion saying “from the result of the voting on the motion, the house has resolved to condemn the attack and closure of the Rivers State High Court Complex, to write the President and Commander of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari to act in the circumstance, that the house has resolved to write the United Nations, the European Union and other foreign missions on the plight of Rivers people”.