STEVE OKO, UMUAHIA
The sixth session of the Abia State House of Assembly was Thursday inaugurated with the member representing Isiala Ngwa North State constituency, Hon. Martins Azubuike of the ruling Peoples Democratic party emerging as the Speaker.
Azubuike, a three- term lawmaker was nominated by member representing Ukwa West Constituency, Tony Mezie Nwubani and later elected unopposed as no other nomination was made by the members- elect.
The House was inaugurated by the Clerk , JohnPedro Irokansi who had last week indefinitely suspended the exercise citing the failure of INEC to issue certificate of return to all the 24 members- elect as reason for his action.
He was however overruled three days later by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu who issued a proclamation that the House would be inaugurated Thursday.
The election was supervised by the Clerk who had earlier proclaimed the inauguration of the sixth Assembly on behalf of the Gov. Ikpeazu.
Meanwhile, Chief Cosmos Ndukwe representing Bende North ( PDP) was also elected the Deputy Speaker after defeating.
He polled 13 votes to defeat another contender, Hon. Ikedi Ezekwesiri of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) representing Umunneochi State constituency who got nine votes while two votes were declared invalid.
The new House comprises of 13 PDP, and 11 APGA members.
Later in his inaugural address, the Speaker commended his colleagues for exhibiting maturity during the election despite their political differences, and for giving him the opportunity to serve them.
He promised not to fail them but to cement the unity among members.
He also pledged to partner with other arms of government to move the state forward without compromising the independence of the legislature.
The Speaker also said that the House would employ the machinery of oversight and other legislative weapons “to ensure that Abians get value for any public fund spent”.
He however, commended Gov. Ikpeazu for not interfering with the affairs of the House, and also lauded him for some of the practical steps he had already taken to address infrastructure problem in Aba.
Commending the immediate- past Governor, Senator Theodore Orji ” for laying a foundation that characterized the 5th House as the most peaceful House in the country”, the Speaker promised to sustain and consolidate on the achievements of the 5 th House.
The House was later adjourned to June 15 while the Speaker announced that other principal officers of the House would be appointed after he had received correspondences from various political parties whose candidates constituted the House indicating their choices for such positions.
Later in an interview, the member representing Umuahia East constituency, Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, said that the House was fully aware of the high expectations from the people and said they could not afford to fail their constituents.
Apugo predicted that Abia would witness peace and progress during the current administration.