Members Of The House Of Assembly In Imo State Agree To Serve Also As Chairmen Of Local Government Areas And Deputy Speaker Explains Why
Deputy Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Ugonna Ozuruigbo, has adduced reason members of the State House of Assembly accepted an offer by Governor Rochas Okorocha to serve also as chairmen of interim management committees of their local government councils.
Governor Okorocha had last weekend appointed the 27 lawmakers as the caretaker chairmen of the 27 council areas of the state.
He also appointed Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Acho Ihim, and member representing Owerri North state constituency, Hon. Chukwuemeka Lloyd, as the chairman and member of a task force on motor parks management respectively.
This is even as the members representing Isu and Ideato South State Constituencies, Mrs. Ngozi Obiefule and Hon. Ikechukwu Amuka were appointed as the chairmen task force on street trading and task force on sanitation respectively. Six members of the Assembly, who are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), however declined to accept the offer, saying it is unconstitutional to combine their duties as lawmakers with that of the executive.
There are however allegation that the appointments were to enable the lawmakers to recoup some of the expenditures they incurred during the electioneering and to eventually gag the lawmakers from opening their eyes over the governor’s activities in office.
However, speaking with journalists after they were inaugurated by Governor Okorocha, Ozuruigbo, said the lawmakers accepted the appointment because it was constitutional.
According to him, the legal provision is clear on the matter as according to him, it is a duty of the members of the House of Assembly to supervise the running of their local government in the absence of any elected or appointed chairmen of their local government pending when that is done.
He stated that the reports in some quarters that the governor appointed them as LGA sole administrators to recoup expenditures they made during the electioneering were done to malign the lawmakers.
The deputy speaker insisted that the Assembly would continue to collaborate with the other arms of the government to ensure that the people of the state were the eventual beneficiaries of the entire exercise.
– Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri