Governor Rochas Okorocha Of Imo State Reportedly Shifted Inauguration Of New Imo State House Of Assembly To Hold Today In Order To Enable Him Mobilize Enough Support For His Preferred Leadership Of The House.
Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
Buoyed by the action of the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the selection of the leadership of the National Assembly last weekend, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has reportedly shifted the inauguration of the new members of the Imo State House of Assembly from Tuesday to Thursday June 11.
The reason for the shift in date, The UNION gathered, was because the governor had not gathered enough commitment to install his preferred candidate as the new speaker of the state house of assembly.
According to sources, the governor had wanted his close aide, Mr. Chinedu Offor from Onuimo State Constituency in Okigwe Senatorial Zone to emerge as the speaker, but most the members-elect feared that Offor’s emergence would deny them a lot of benefits and possibly make them appear as rubber stamp to the governor.
The other members were said to be favourably disposed to the candidacy of Dr. Acho Ihim from Okigwe State constituency, who is equally a ranking member of the house.
One of the sources said the postponement of the inauguration was to enable Okorocha secure the loyalty of the majority of the members of the house to enable him get a speaker he could truly work without any sense of fear. There had been wild speculations that the incoming members of the Imo State House of Assembly would be rubber stamps to Governor Okorocha following the victory of the APC members in the 21 out of the 27 state constituencies in the state.
The speculation started playing out less than one week after Okorocha emerged winner of the governorship election rerun last April and specifically at the state secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Owerri, where the governor allegedly stopped Hon. Acho Ihim from giving vote of thanks during the presentation of certificate of return to the governor and the 27 members-elect of the state house of assembly.
It was reported that Ihim had stood up to give a vote of thanks on behalf of his colleagues after the governor had spoken, but he was stopped from speaking by the governor who instead, ordered Chinedu Offor to do so on behalf of the 27 incoming members of the state house of assembly.
To the members-elect, the INEC event was an eye opener of what to expect when inauguration of the House, and since then, most of them were said to have come together to ensure that a first ‘termer’ would not be allowed to preside over the legislature.