•As Deputy Speaker lauds take over of state legislature
From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has condemned the take over of the Rivers State legislative duties by the National Assembly, accusing the federal lawmakers of meddlesomeness. Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Leyii Kwanee, however commended the Senate for its unbiased decision to agree with the House of Representatives to take over the legislature in the interim.
The state lawmaker also commended the National Assembly for recommending the immediate redeployment of the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu.
A statement issued by the Office of the Deputy Speaker in Port Harcourt stated that the two resolutions remained the only non-partisan decisions to ensure peace in Rivers State and defuse the tension created by the crisis.
He commended the Senate for rising above partisanship in the interest of the country’s nascent democracy to call a spade a spade.
The statement said the deputy speaker had earlier pointed out that only the two decisions were the preliminaries needed to resolve the crisis. It further urged the security agencies to take a cue from the National Assembly and investigate the cause of the crisis thoroughly without fear or favour, and in the interest of the nation, adding that in so doing, the current democracy would be saved.
In its own reaction, the PDP in Rivers State said the Thursday, July 26, 2013 resolution of the Nigerian Senate to take over the affairs of the State House of Assembly is rather hasty and cannot be in the best interest of the state.
The party expressed dissatisfaction with the position of the National Assembly in a statement issued by Jerry Needam, the Special Adviser on Media to the State Chairman of the party, Hon Felix Obuah.
The party argued that the only rationale in the findings of the Senate Committee is “that Governor Chibuike Amaechi having lost grip and can no longer conduct the affairs of the state, should throw in the towel.”
The party further said that “the takeover of the affairs of the State House of Assembly has created a vacuum in the governance of the state, which further weakens the collapsing leadership structure of the Amaechi administration and therefore does not help the state out of the doldrums.”
It regrets that the “Nigerian Senate could go on to hastily deliberate on the issue when it knows that the matter is in court over an earlier decision by the National Assembly to take over the State House of Assembly, describing the action as deviant and prejudicial.”
According to the state PDP, “from the position of the law as cited by the National Assembly, it’s evident that the only reason for their unnecessary intervention is to save Amaechi from possible impeachment as though the impeachment clause is unconstitutional and affects only Rivers State House of Assembly.
“Yet gov Amaechi has continued to claim to the high heavens that all the House of Assembly members save five are his ardent supporters. Why then is he afraid of impeachment?