– By Okey Maduforo
Anambra State House of Assembly Speaker Barr. Mrs. Rita Maduagwu cuts the picture of dame with great amiable nature.
Her disarming smiles speak volume of a woman who is given to be highly level headed with a nag for respecting constituted authority. But the seat upon which sue sits inside the hallowed chambers of the Assembly has refused remain firm on its position.
Just last week, twenty – eight members of the Assembly out of thirty resolved to impeach her and ultimately elect another member as the speaker.
But the embattled speaker choose to adopt the style of late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo who at the peak of the plot to unseat him as Senate President took the mace to his home town in Ogbunike Anambra State.
She at the peak of the confusion when her members were sited laying wait for her arrival and possible impeachment absconded with the mace of the Assembly.
Even when another mace was eventually brought into the chambers, her alter ego and member representing Anambra East state constituency Pharm Obinna Emenake took away the mace insisting that the Assembly cannot sit with what he called a fake mace.
Against the belief in some quarters that the APGA dominate state Assembly is a parastatal of the state Executive Council, the Lawmakers took political whether by the storm and made attempt at impeaching the speaker and propagating the independence of the legislative arm of government.
Unknown to observers, this is the seventh attempt by this present Assembly to effect a change of guards in the leadership of the legislature.
Trouble started when the Assembly was inaugurated and the speakership position was zoned to Anambra south Senatorial District.
Top contenders to that position included ranking lawmakers of this zone, lead by Mr. Ikem Uzoezie Aguata I, Kinsley Iruba, Nnewi South I, Nikky Ugochukwu Orumba South and Ikechukwu Umeh Aguata II.
Odd against Uzoezie was the fear of his being influenced by former National Chairman of APGA, Sir Victor Umeh who it was alleged is his uncle.
Similarly his opponents felt that Uzoezie has a strong character that would show case him as a non compromising firm and resolute lawmaker that can call the powers that be in government house Awka its bluff.
Nikky Ugochukwu was accused of having that old People’s Democratic Party blood in her and may not consider party loyalty to the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA her current party.
Kinsley Uruba an old APGA member was also seen in the mole of Uzoezie and being a legal practitioner his strict adherence to the lay down rules and order of the Assembly would certainly be the headache of the executive arm of government.
Uzoezie was allegedly compelled to nominate Rita Maduagwu for the post of the speaker against all expectations of his emerging as the Speaker.
Ever since, it has been a cat and mouse relationship between the integrity group in the Assembly and the rest of those that are neck deep in dancing to the whims and caprices of the executive.
Nikky Ugochukwu; a three term member of the Assembly has ever since had her reservations about the leadership of the house.
Allegations against the speaker however includes, high handedness, lack of respect for fellow members of the house and the over bearing influence of the state government over her.
She is also seen as not being a grass root member of the party APGA having effected from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which is the plot form that brought her to the Assembly in 2011 general election.
Maduagwu has ever since allayed the fears from her traducers that she may return to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
At the moment the gale of impeachment still hovers around the Assembly and it is not a good one for Gov. Willie Obiano who is currently grappling with the challenges of his second term election come November 18 2017.
It is being suspected in some places that the recent impeachment plot against the speaker may have the colorations of the opposition parties trying to start the process of stopping the second term bid of Gov. Willie Obiano, by unsettling his administration.
For now Gov. Willie Obiano may have to fine tune his war strategies before it becomes too late.