The Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal has intensified efforts to save the embattled Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi from an imminent impeachment by the five lawmakers loyal to the Minister of State for Education, Nyeson Wike at the Rivers State House of Assembly.
Tambuwal, who has a personal relationship with the Governor, according to a source inside the National Assembly, was behind the reprieve that came the Governor’s way on Tuesday through the House’s plan to take over the running of the Rivers Assembly for some time in order to calm down the breakdown of law and order at the lawmaking chamber.
The news that the House of Representatives intends to take over the running of the Rivers Assembly was well received by the Governor’s loyalists, who are fully aware that the Tuesday’s fight was all about the Governor’s impeachment.
The Speaker’s latest effort is in anticipation of a likely rejection of the move by the House of Representatives to take over the running of the Rivers Assembly, by the Senate, which has not concluded its debate on the matter.
The Speaker, the source added is working with two staunch Amaechi loyalists: Hon. Dakuku Peterside, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), and the state’s immediate past commissioner for Works, and Senator Magnus Abe, the immediate past SSG. Both lawmakers are strongly eyeing the governorship in 2015.
“They may have unknowingly worked against the people of the state by working together to seek the truncation, albeit temporarily of the tenure of elected lawmakers in order to take over from Amaechi.”
The speaker, the source noted, has also been approached by the leadership of the almost registered APC, through the members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), to ensure that the five members, who are laying claim to the speakership of the House, through Hon. Evans Bipi, don’t go ahead with their move to impeach the Governor.
“The fear is that with the State Assembly complex in the hands of the Rivers State police command, and other security operatives that take order from Abuja, Amaechi days as Governor are numbered. It is also the reason why the suggestion for the state commissioner of Police Mbu Joseph Mbu was raised,” the source added.
But the plan for the House of Representatives has been strongly criticized with some arguing that a committee should have been set up first investigate the circumstances that led to the fight that broke out Tuesday, where one of the anti Amaechi lawmakers, Hon. Micheal Chinda sustained a serious head injury, and to also seek ways to reconcile the feuding lawmakers instead of outright take over.
On a radio phone in programme monitored in Port Harcourt Wednesday evening, a member of the House of Reps, Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke, representing Etchie /Omuma Federal Constituency, was unable to answer some of the questions asked by callers.
Nwuke, who linked to the programme on phone from Abuja, was unable to explain the proposed take over, when more serious situations in some other Houses were not taken over by the House.
The state chairman of the party, Hon. Felix Obua, also condemned the planned takeover, stating that it was too early, pointing out that the House was biased in its decision.
As at yesterday (Wednesday) when thugs almost disrupted the peace in the state, and being tear-gassed and chased all over the ever busy Nnamdi Azikiwe Road along Government House, Port Harcourt, Bipi had spoken to reporters in Port Harcourt, noting that he remains the speaker.
“I was duly elected yesterday as Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. I came in today to resume normal duties as Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly only to meet Amaechi and his police people there. I was so embarrassed,” he said, and advised his supporters to be law abiding,” Bipi said