The Ukwa Ngwa Collective, an association of progressive minds of the Ukwa-Ngwa extraction has faulted the impeachment of the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Convener of the group, Chief Augustine Nwogwugwu (Akwaja) said, although its activities are more socio-cultural in nature and not political as its members are drawn from different political persuasions, “the events in Abia State in the last few days particularly as it affects the seat of Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly makes it imperative that we communicate our position to the good people of Abia State and Nigeria in general.”
The group affirmed that after reviewing the events of the past few days, it resolved that “the Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Martins Okechukwu Azubuike remains the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly. The kangaroo events of the 29th day of December 2016 wherein some disgruntled elements at the prodding of external influences attempted impeachment of the Speaker, flouts all know parliamentary procedures and is therefore null, void and of no effect. There was no valid sitting of the Abia State House of Assembly on the 29th day of December 2016 and no impeachment or other proceedings could have taken place.
“The position of Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly is by all political calculations reserved for Isiala-Ngwa Federal Constituency. No candidate from the Obingwa/Ugwunagbo/Osisioma-Ngwa Federal Constituency (Obioma Ngwa) can in good conscience vie to be Speaker of the House since the said Constituency has already produced the Governor and Senator. It would amount to the greatest act of avarice, greed and selfishness for Obioma-Ngwa to also take the position of Speaker having already taken the Senate seat from Ukwa people in addition to the post of Governor being occupied by them. In any case, Bishop Kennedy Njoku who is being touted for that position is a neophyte who is barely a year and some months in parliament and still grappling to be conversant with rudimentary elements of Law-Making.
“As for Isiala-Ngwa South, the member representing that Constituency is also like Bishop Kennedy Njoku, a neophyte who is just a year plus in parliament. Beyond legislative inexperience however, there is a deeper flaw which makes it IMPOSSIBLE for the good people of Isiala Ngwa North/Isiala Ngwa South Federal Constituency to put forth the name of Chikwendu Kalu for the office of Speaker of the House of Assembly. It is for the same reason that his colleagues in the House vociferously rejected his nomination during the kangaroo proceedings of 29th December 2016.
“Chikwendu Kalu is currently indicted for massive fraud and stealing by his peers and colleagues in the Legal Profession. He was debarred, de-robed and banned from practicing law by the Disciplinary Committee of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) after trial for several incidents of fraud and stealing. Although the people of Isiala Ngwa South LGA decided in their wisdom to overlook these serious flaws and elected him to the ABHA, the position of Speaker is an office for the entire State. Indeed, the Ukwa-Ngwa people when given an opportunity to put a candidate forward for that office will put forward its first eleven to ensure that the credibility and good name of our people is guarded; surely, an avaricious character like Chikwendu Kalu can never represent the Ukwa-Ngwa nation.
“We are disturbed at the rumors that His Excellency, Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu supported and funded this impeachment attempt. We desperately hope that these are false rumors even as we know that it is impossible and there is no precedent that any Speaker of a State Assembly has been impeached in Nigeria without the express and overt support of the Governor of such State.
“We are further worried by allegations that part of the reasons for this plot is to give Chinedu Orji (Ikuku), son of the former Governor, greater control over the affairs of the ABHA in the interim by appointing his acolytes and ‘boys’ who have no pedigree in parliament as Speaker preparatory to their subsequent resignations and ascension to the office of Speaker by Ikuku. All of these moves are alleged to be concocted to give Ikuku a direct line to the Abia Treasury to continue from where he and his father left off after eight years as Governor and four years as Chief of Staff, Government House, Umuahia.
“In view of the foregoing, the Collective hereby re-affirms that Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Martins Okechukwu Azubuike remains SPEAKER of the Abia State House of Assembly. All those involved in the kangaroo and illegal attempts to impeach him should retrace their footsteps. Abia State has enjoyed relative peace since the advent of the current administration and acts such as this attempted impeachment which have the potentials to shatter the relative peace being enjoyed in the State should be condemned by all men and women of good conscience. The Ukwa-Ngwa nation has extended a hand of fellowship to Senator T.A. Orji and his family. This should not be taken for granted. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”