–         How Ranking Members Were Compelled To Step Down

–         10th House May Be Worse Than 9th House

The emergence of a first timer who political pundits have described as a neophyte as the current Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, has elicited mixed reactions in several quarters.

Some keen watchers of political developments in the State, who spoke to this Reporter on condition of anonymity have expressed disappointment that despite the array of experienced ranking members in the newly inaugurated Imo State House of Assembly, the Governor, Hope Uzodinma, for reasons best known to him, deployed the paraphernalia of his office to ensure that Hon Chike Olemgbe who they said, currently does not have any legislative or executive experience emerged as Speaker of the House, even when some ranking members from Okigwe zone had indicated interest in occupying the position.

It was also gathered that, aside mobilizing support to enable Hon Olemgbe to emerge as Speaker, the more experienced ranking members who indicated interest in becoming Speaker were compelled to step down for the former.

This they said, has reportedly prompted many to wonder why Governor Uzodinma often has special interest in having political green horns emerge as Speakers at the expense of more experienced and politically mature ranking members of the House.

 According to them, ‘’a former Speaker of the House, Hon Kennedy Ibeh and the immediate past Speaker, Barr Emeka Nduka both of who are from Okigwe indicated interest in occupying the position of Speaker. It was expected that one of them would get the top job considering their experience and the fact that they are from Okigwe zone where the Speaker is expected to come from. But surprisingly, Governor Uzodinma, in his usual way of preferring to deal with politically inexperienced green horns influenced the emergence of Hon Olemgbe as Speaker, contrary to laid down rules which make it imperative that the Speaker should be a ranking member of the House’’.

A senior lawyer who does not want his name in print, said, ‘’it is worrisome that Imo State has suddenly became a theater of absurdities where due process and rule of law have been thrown to the dogs’’.

He noted that, ‘’under the Hope Uzodinma administration, virtually all the lawmakers in the House of Assembly who hail from Okigwe zone have become Speakers of the House of Assembly. The first was Hon Chiji Collins from Isiala Mbano, followed by,Hon Paul Emeziem and Hon Kennedy Ibeh, who was succeeded by the immediate past Speaker, Hon Barr Anthony Emeka Nduka, who bowed out before the current Speaker took over’’.

‘’The way and manner the leadership of the 10th House emerged is an indication that the 10th Imo State House of Assembly will be more docile, inept and purposeless than the 9th House that was seen by Imo people as a rubber stamp of the executive’’.

He blamed the ranking members of the House who stepped down for Hon Olemgbe at the Governor’s instance betraying the trust and confidence reposed in them by their constituents.