From Chuks Moses, Awka
The 7th Anambra State House of Assembly, was inaugurated Wednesday with Messrs Uche Okafor and Pascal Agbodike elected as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.
With this, the immediate past Speaker-Rita Maduagwu (All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA) who’s still sweating it out in the Election tribunal may have become history.
But another curious picture is that with the new Speaker the popular geo-balancing of top political positions in appointments in the state may have been jettisoned by Gov Willie Obiano-led APGA government. Because Mr Okafor – the new Speaker is from Ayamelum, the governor’s North Senatorial district. Whereas the Governor comes from the same North, his deputy Dr Nkem Okeke, comes from the Central Senatorial district and naturally the Speaker ought to have gone to any of the seven Council areas of the South Senatorial district.
The new arrangement may have laid the stage for another troubled period of Legislature-Executive relationship in the state as witnessed in the immediate past Assembly when Maduagwu, against the popular choice of members, was chosen.
Other elected principal officers include
Nnamdi Okafor, Majority Leader;
Emeka Aforka, Deputy Majority Leader;
Lawrence Ezeudu, Chief Whip;
Beverly Ikpeazu, Deputy Chief Whip;
Onyebuchi Offor, Minority Leader;
Ebele Ejiofor, Deputy Minority Leader;
Somtochukwu Udeze, Deputy Majority Whip; and Douglas Egbuna Deputy Minority Whip.
The new officers were inaugurated by the Clerk of the House, Mr Pius Udoh, and they consequently inaugurated the rest members-elect of the 7th Assembly.
The Speaker in his inaugural speech promised to build on the on the achievements of the immediate past 6th Assembly and hopes for a smooth relationship between the executive, legislative and judiciary for checks and balances.
Read him, “I thank every member of the 7th Assembly for their maturity in electing the principal officers of this Assembly. I want to commend Governor Obiano for transforming the state.
“I want to commend the opposition party in the state for their constructive criticism in the state. We will ensure pure separation of power with constructive checks and balances. 6th Assembly achieved a lot and we will surpass them with development-oriented bills and motions. I will promote good governance through legislations. The interest of the state will always be above our interest.
The House later adjourned to Tuesday, 18 June 2019. The new Minority Leader, Onyebuchi Offor, while supporting the motion, stressed that the opposition was not ready to fight the state government or witch-hunt anyone but to support the state government for good governance and even development.