The political turmoil within the Rivers State House of Assembly escalated Wednesday as 27 lawmakers loyal to embattled Speaker Martin Amaewhule convened under tight security as reported by The PUNCH.
This move comes amidst a deepening rift triggered by a failed attempt to impeach Governor Siminialayi Fubara.
Following the October 29th explosion that rocked the Assembly complex, it had remained locked and inactive.
However, cleaners were reportedly deployed on Tuesday to prepare the building for Wednesday’s sitting.
Under the watchful eyes of riot policemen, the Amaewhule-led group, believed to be aligned with Governor Fubara’s predecessor Nyesom Wike, held a two-hour session. During this time, they elected two new principal officers: Former Chief Whip Frankline Nwabochi became the new Majority Leader, while the current Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 1 representative was also named the new Chief Whip.
An unsigned statement confirmed the oath-taking ceremony and Amaewhule’s congratulations to the newly elected officers.
The lawmakers also took a significant step towards financial autonomy by passing the second reading of the Rivers State House of Assembly Funds Management (Financial Autonomy) Bill, 2023.
However, the Speaker hinted that Governor Fubara had withheld funds from the Assembly, including November salaries.
Despite this, Amaewhule expressed his commitment to fulfilling their duties and thanked his colleagues for their unwavering support.
The rival faction led by House Leader Edison Ehie, loyal to Governor Fubara, has yet to respond to Wednesday’s developments.
Notably, they hold a court order stipulating that the status quo be maintained until their lawsuit seeking Amaewhule’s removal is resolved.
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