The attention of the Imo State House of Assembly has been drawn to a press conference organized by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the 22nd of August 2012 at 4pm.
In the said press conference, the PDP accused the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu of deliberately postponing the inauguration of Mr. Eugene Dibiagwu, member elect for Oguta State Constituency on the 22nd of August 2012.
The PDP also among other allegations said that Rt. Honourable Benjamin Uwajumogu is the rubber stamp of the Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha and that his failure to inaugurate Mr. Eugene Dibiagwu as an Honourable member has exposed him as an incompetent speaker who must be impeached. For the records; Mr. Eugene Dibiagwu was communicated in writing by the Imo State House of Assembly few days ago that he would be sworn-in on the 22nd of August 2012. This was followed up by the Rt. Honourable Speaker’s Press briefing on Thursday the 16th of August 2012 where he reiterated the resolution of the House of Assembly to inaugurate Mr. Eugene Dibiagwu on the 22nd of August 2012. This was published in numerous newspapers, announced on the state radio and television stations. It was also covered in camera. Unfortunately the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was accused by the APGA leadership in the state of planning to cause Mayhem and crisis of unimaginable proportion in the state.
There were also reports that the Imo State House of Assembly will be destroyed and that the state owned ORIENT radio/television station would also be burnt down. On the other hand, the PDP leadership in the state asked Imo People to hold APGA responsible should breakdown of law and order take place on Wednesday 22nd of August 2012. In this situation, the Imo State House of Assembly became the battle ground for the two political parties to settle their differences. As a law abiding organ of government, the Imo State House of Assembly was set to perform its legislative, administrative and inauguration functions on the 22nd of August 2012, when reports filtered in that buses carrying thugs and hoodlums from Oguta Local Government Area and from Neighbouring states had indeed arrived the state capital Owerri in the evening of 21st of August 2012.
On the 22nd of August 2012, these hoodlums from Oguta LGA stormed the Assembly complex and barricaded the gates (both in front and at the back of Imo State House of Assembly) with guns, machetes and other weapons threatening to burn down the Imo State House of Assembly complex if Mr. Eugene Dibiagwu was not inaugurated. They were above 1000 in number. These hoodlums prevented Staff, political appointees and even elected Honourable members from entering the complex. Infact Hon. Barrister Obinna Okwara (member representing Nkwerre State Constituency) was humiliated when he tried to drive through the gate. The APGA people were also seen marching towards the Assembly complex. It is very symbolic to note that vehicles of political appointees and staffs were vandalized and their tyres deflated. Windscreen of moving vehicles and tricycles were heartlessly smashed. We have all these in camera.
Therefore, in order to avert an impending Mayhem which definitely would have led to several loss of lives and properties and further desecration of the Assembly complex by the hoodlums from Oguta, the Imo State House of Assembly graciously postponed the inauguration of Mr. Eugene Dibiagwu to the 29th of August 2012. This strategy was to allow the effervescent of confusion, violence and political hatred to settle down. Also as a proactive measure, the police and other security agencies were quickly deployed to protect the Assembly complex.
It is therefore very erroneous for the PDP to accuse the ebullient and peace loving Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Chukwuemeka Uwajumogu of deliberately postponing the inauguration of Mr. Eugene Dibiagwu. It is equally not right to label Speaker Uwajumogu a rubber stamp. Indeed, it is a hatred taken too far by calling for the impeachment of Speaker Uwajumogu, a man known and acknowledged universally as a man of peace and love.
The question now is; do you swear in somebody at gun point in a democratic setting? The answer is definitely capital No. Let us give peace a chance to reign. Let us practice love for one another. Let us indeed embrace Unity irrespective of political party affiliation, so that Imo will continue to be better.
Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha
Media Aide to the Rt.Honourable Speaker