Ebonyi gets new speaker, Umahi flays Fourth Assembly



THE Ebonyi State House of Assembly, yesterday, elected the member representing Izzi West Constituency, Hon. Francis Nwifuru, speaker.

The House also elected Hon. Odefa Obasi Odefa representing Onicha East constituency as Nwifuru’s deputy speaker for the Fifth Assembly.

Inaugurating the assembly, Governor Dave Umahi expressed dismay that the Fourth Assembly was the “worst” in the country because of high level of in-fighting, indiscipline, corruption, and incessant impeachment of principal officers of the House.

Umahi noted that some of the issues that characterised the Fourth Assembly were “Inadequate funding, government officials not obeying the laws enacted by our legislatures, over-reaching attitude of the executive in matters of exclusive rights of the legislatures, and interference of executive in the matters of the legislatures.”

The governor further advised the lawmakers to restore the integrity of the House because they worked hard to be elected and to shun the temptation of cheating members and should not create greedy caucus, which also affected the fourth assembly.

Umahi assured that the executive arm of government would not interfere with the internal affairs of the House, adding that he would continue to play the fatherly role on matters affecting the Assembly.

The motion for the election of the Speaker was moved by Odefa and seconded by Joseph Nwobashi (Ezza North East), while that of the Deputy Speaker was moved by Chike Oguji (Ikwo South) and seconded by Frank Onwe (Ohaukwu North).

Other principal officers, as announced by the Speaker, include: Joseph Nwobasi (Majority Leader); Chike Oguji (Deputy Leader); Kingsley Ikoro (Chief Whip); Frank Onwe (Deputy Chief Whip) and the member representing Afikpo North East, Hon. Maria Nwachi (PPA) as the Minority Leader.

In his speech, the new speaker pledged commitment to ensuring that the House shuns crisis and vowed to be transparent and to carry the members along. He added that peace would be restored in the House.
He revealed his preparedness to ensure mutual understanding and working relationship with other arms of government to enable the state record uncommon development.

He, however, directed the Clerk of House, Mrs. Rose Nwokporo, who earlier presided over the session, to notify the Executive and Judiciary that the 5th assembly has been constituted.

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