Wilfred Chimeremeze, Abakaliki
The immediate past Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Mr.Chukwuma Nwazunku at the weekend said many things happened during his tenure as a result of flexing of muscle between the executive and legislature arms of government but the most challenging and the saddest was the State Assembly complex arson perpetrated by some wicked forces. Nwazuku who stated this at the valedictory session of the fourth Assembly acknowledged that some of the ugly events and experiences he underwent, was a training ground preparatory for higher service to humanity, even, as he was elected a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Ebonyi/Ohaukwu constituency at the National Assembly, Abuja.
He said“ so many things happened during my tenure, which affected me directly and indirectly, but I regard them as training for all of us. The one that pained me most is the fire incidence which was masterminded by some wicked elements, who thought that burning down the Honorable House would bring an end the existence of the 4th Assembly” He blamed the executive arm of government for creating the circumstance that made it impossible for the House of “Our conscience tells us that we tried our best in the discharge of the duties entrusted. to us by the good people of the state under the condition we found ourselves.” – Ex-Ebony AssembySpeaker Assembly to pass the 2015 Appropriation Law . He noted that it was the inability of the out gone Executive and its parastatals to come and defend the budget that made the passage unsuccessful.
According to the former speaker, the out gone executive, headed by former Governor Martin Elechi flouted several resolutions of the House, including the directive to come and defend the 2015 budget estimate, which amounted to breach of the constitution. Nwazunku said that since government is a continuum, he charged the incoming Fifth Assembly to continue from where the Fourth Assembly stopped in order to give Ebonyi state accelerated development. It could be recalled that the strained relationship between the former Governor, Chief Martin Elechi and the State House of Assembly was such that efforts made to have the bill passed before the end of his tenure proved abortive.
But the new Governor, Engr. David Umahi has of recent announced that he would withdraw the 2015 budget yet to be passed into law by the House of Assembly, to correct the flaws in the budget and to avoid the breach of the constitution. Nwazunku then enjoined both the newly elected members of the House and the former members who bounced back to continue with the struggle for the progress and prosperity of the state.
He commended his colleagues for their political maturity, sense of discipline and peaceful disposition while the Fourth Assembly lasted, adding that they delivered on their constitutional mandate without compromise. The former speaker said although the Fourth Assembly that he presided over was criticized as well as commended by the people, that they owe no one any apology, because according to him, “our conscience tell us that we tried our best in the discharge of the duties entrusted. to us by the good people of the state under the condition we found ourselves.”