Dr Emmanuel Udeaya, clerk of the Enugu State House of Assembly, says rumours making the rounds that the state government had concluded plans to inaugurate the state House of Assembly at ‘odd hours’ to exclude Labour Party members ‘are embarrassing’.
Udeaya told newsmen in Enugu that the House inauguration was a matter of the constitution, and the rules must guide the exercise. He was reacting to an allegation that began on Wednesday that the House would be inaugurated secretly to exclude members-elect of the LP.
THE WHISTLER reports that LP has fourteen members while the Peoples Democratic Party has ten. A source had said the PDP-led state government plans to install a speaker from the PDP despite LP forming the majority.
Udeaya spoke at the ongoing retreat organised for members-elect ahead of their inauguration.
Quoting him, “The rumour is very embarrassing. I don’t know the origin of that rumour that is spreading. I have received over fifty calls from journalists. I don’t know who is instigating that rumour. There is no contemplation for that. Nobody imagines that.
“The House of Assembly inauguration is a matter of the constitution. It is done transparently, and in the chambers of the House. I never held any meeting with His Excellency. He never imagined anything like that. He is a lawyer and a due process person. I was surprised and shocked to see such publications. I advise that before a publication is made, clarifications should be sought. Some of these things are actionable.
“There are rules on how to conduct the first sitting and elect positions in the House. The standing order is an offshoot of the constitution. We used to have an old standing order, but presently we have a harmonised standing order. This order applies to all Houses of Assembly in the five states in the South East. There is also a provision that if the House is not comfortable with the order, members could change it. But presently they are still members-elect.” On when the House will be inaugurated, he said it would be when the proclamation is declared.
A member-elect of the House from the LP, on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that, “We want orderliness in the House. We wouldn’t like a rubberstamp House. We have seen cases where chief executives arbitrarily collude with a minority in Assemblies to obtain loans in the name of the state to enrich themselves. We wouldn’t like such, and that is why there are voices for the proper thing to be done to avoid stalemates in the House.”