Imo Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, is impeached on Monday despite a court order; embattled Governor Samuel Ortom gets impeachment notice from eight out of 30 Benue lawmakers; and Speaker of Kano Assembly is booted out.
Official reasons are given for the impeachments and planned impeachment, but there are undertones.
Ortom had the guts to defy his political godfather, Senator George Akume, and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). With the federally controlled Police backing the eight lawmakers to sit in Makurdi, it is a clear signal to other Governors of the APC considering jumping ship to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In Imo, Madumere joined rebels to whittle down the influence of his principal, Governor Rochas Okorocha, in the APC politics in the State. The party’s executive council in the State has changed hands within weeks; and there are speculations that an assassinated party chairman of one of the Local Government Area is a collateral damage of the power play. Okorocha has placed a N20 million bounty on the head of the killers.
In Kano, the fierce political battle between Governor Umar Ganduje and his predecessors, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Abu Shekarau, is at the root of the unrest in the Legislature.
More political drama is expected in the coming weeks as the battle for the soul of Nigeria in 2019 rages.
Receiving the new Kano Speaker, Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, Ganduje sought to play ostrich.
His words: “I was not aware of what was going on at the state assembly; I was informed by top members of our great party that the speaker of the house has been impeached by the members of the house.
“As you know, there has been, and they would be different interpretations to what has happened, but one thing is certain, that is, we in Kano believe in internal democracy”
“I urge you to embrace all those whom have lost their seats and ensure that there are no factions within the assembly members.
“I welcome you to the state government House, your house, and I want to reassure you that there shall be synergy between the state government and the assembly for the greater development of the state”
“For eight years I was the deputy governor, and we have been together with virtually all of you for the past sixteen years, so am familiar with the antics of the assembly and issues of internal democracy”
“I’m happy to hear that you are solidly behind the party in the state, National level and the president particularly at this moment of trial”
In Imo, 19 out of the 27 members, sacked Madumere following an indictment by a 7-man panel constituted by the state chief judge,Paschal Nnadi, to investigate gross misconduct accusations.
Same day, Justice Ben Iheka of a State High Court, restrained the panel set up by the Chief Judge of the state, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Acho Ihim, and the State House of Assembly from taking any further action on the impeachment process.
Justice Iheka also directed the three members of the impeachment panel to respect the suit.