–      Tells Chiji Collins to face the music

–      Denies rift with Gov Uzodinma

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Imo State House of Assembly are not happy with former Governor Emeka Ihedioha, for facilitating the emergence of Rt Hon Chiji Collins, who represents Isiala Mbano State constituency in Okigwe zone where the party did not win a single seat as Speaker of the House, contrary to their insistence that the position be given to a legislator from Orlu zone where the party not only produced a legislator, but performed excellently in the 2019 general election.

Hon Ugboma, who represents Oguta state constituency in the House, disclosed this yesterday in an exclusive interview with Nigeria Watchdog. He explained that, it was Ihedioha’s insistence that, since he is from Owerri zone and his Deputy, Gerald Irona is from Orlu zone, “justice, equity and fairness demand that the Speaker should come from Okigwe zone, for us to adhere strictly to the unwritten agreement fo charter of equity has put us in this problem. We never wanted Chiji Collins to be Speaker because, we knew his antecedents. That was why, at the inception of the 9th Assembly, Okigwe people sent a delegation that included the six (6) members of the PDP that contested and lost the House of Assembly election in Okigwe zone, to prevail on the Governor to choose a Speaker from Orlu zone, but he refused and insisted on justice, equity, fairness and rule of law. Look at what that has caused us today”.

He said, contrary to rumours and speculations making the round, that there are moves to impeach the Governor, “we have no problem whatsoever with Governor Hope Uzodinma because, to the best of my knowledge, he has not committed any impeachable offence but Chiji Collins has through his several actions and inactions, been a thorn in the flesh of legislators and has caused much trouble for us. Look at how he has ridiculed the legislature and exposed some of us to the avoidable scourge of Covid-19 because he refused to repair the microphones and compelled 27 members of the House to use one microphone for more than three (3) months. How much does it cost to buy or repair microphones? Chiji Collins has committed several impeachable offences”.

Hon Ugboma, regretted that the Speaker has turned the legislature that is a different arm of government, constitutionally empowered to check the activities and excesses of the executive “to a castrated appendage and rubber stamp of the executive against the wish of some of us who owe it a duty to ourselves and our constituents, to ensure that things are done the right way and that Imo people know the truth at all times, no matter whose ox is gored”.

He called on the Speaker to face the music and desist from his diversionary antics of trying to drag the Governor’s name into a web that he designed for himself. “Nothing concerns Governor Uzodinma in the several acts of cowardice, ineptitude and impunity of the Hon Chiji Collins led leadership of the Imo State House of Assembly that has from all indications relegated the welfare, rights and privileges of members and by extension, their constituents to the background”, he stated.

Responding to a question, Hon Ogbuoma explained that, “Ihedioha is innocent of Hon Chiji Collins present self inflicted travails. What they are doing is a typical case of the pot calling kettle black. I can’t even remember the last time I spoke with or communicated in any way with Ihedioha. They are just calling the man’s name in vain”.