IKA SOUTH COUNCIL BOILS; MACE STOLEN, RETURN, CHAIRMAN TO RESUME DUTY IN A FEW WEEKS – Hon. Okonta

 

The incident which took place on Tuesday, February
16, 2010 was said to have been masterminded by two serving councilors in the
local government area. The councilors (names withheld) were reported to have
broken into the office of the Clerk of the House at about 7:30am when staff of
the council were yet to resume work on that fateful day.

                            

Ika Weekly investigations
revealed that one of the suspected councilors who took the Mace from the office
of the Clerk has been seriously aggrieved over the non-sitting of the House
since the suspension of the Executive Chairman of the council, Hon. Hillary
Ibude from office in November, 2009. The said legislator, it was gathered also
has been scheming for the impeachment of the current leader of the House, Hon.
Alexander Azeru, as in his calculation, the young man cannot continue to hold
his office, being of Abavo extraction with the acting chairman, Hon. Festus
Izoje. 

                             ‘

According to an impeccable council source, the
legislative arm has been polarized even before the suspension of the council
chairman by the Delta State House of Assembly, which is currently investigating
him for alleged financial impropriety. A few days before the suspension of the
chairman, some members of the legislative arm of the council were suspended, a
development, the source averred contributed to the current travails of the
chairman, who was suspected to have had a hand in the crisis that erupted in
the House late last year. 

                            

Speaking to pressmen at the council secretariat that
Tuesday morning, over the development, the leader of the legislative arm, Hon.
Alexander Azeru said that he received a call from a staff of the council, that
two councilors (names withheld) had broken into the office of the Clerk of the
House and made away with the Mace of the legislative arm.

                            

Hon. Azeru who corroborated Ika Weekly’s findings
that the House has not had any single sitting disclosed that it was as a result
of  financial constraints and said he had
to rush down to the office to discover that the office of the Clerk was open,
with documents lying about on the floor. He said he immediately reach out to
some other members of the House through phone.

                            

“It is true that we have not been sitting for some
time now. It was due to financial constraint. But immediately funds were made
available, I picked a date for sitting but unfortunately, some of us who were
bent on causing confusion had to abort the sitting. Even one of them has been
spearheading a campaign to have me removed as the leader because according to
him I am from the same place with the acting chairman, Hon. Festus Izoje. But I
have always pointed out to him that it was party leaders and stakeholders in
the LGA that zoned the Speaker of the House in the LGA to Abavo and so the
arrangement cannot be altered arbitrarily. But because they have a hidden
agenda, they have remained uncompromising, which today has led to this
unhealthy development” he explained.

                            

Hon. Azeru who disclosed that apart from the Mace,
other vital official documents were allegedly stolen from the office said that
the matter has been reported to the Divisional Police Headquarter, Agbor “I am
very confident that the police will carry out a thorough and painstaking
investigation that will culminate in the arrest of the culprits and their
eventual arraignment in court because what they have done is a criminal
offense” he stated.

                            

The House leader
also stated that the suspects are the councilors who have allegedly been
stealing official sensitive documents and revealing them to the public. “These
people have forgotten that before our assumption of office, everyone of us
swore to oath of allegiance and secrecy, which they had blatantly disregarded.
I know there are powerful interests backing and encouraging them, if not they
will not go to this extent. I am however, appealing to my colleagues and the
good people of Ika South to remain calm as the situation is under control. The
law will take its course.” he said       

                            

However, on
Thursday, February 18, 2010 there was a mild drama at the premises of the Agbor
Divisional Police Headquarter when some persons believed to be political actors
engaged themselves in a fistcuff as a result of the lingering political crisis
in Ika South local Government Area. It took the intervention of the Speaker of
the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Okonta and law enforcement
agents to bring the tensed situation under control.

                            

Addressing the
press, the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Okonta said that
it was necessary for everybody especially the political class to work for the
enthronement and sustenance of peace in Ika South. He noted that the political
uncertainty that has beclouded the LGA will become a thing of the past as all
the stakeholders in the area are ready to drop their differences and work as a
family for the interest of the people.

                            

“I must foster
peace in Ika South. Whatever it will cost me to achieve it, I am willing to do
it. We must all work to resolve the lingering crisis, whatever our differences
as politicians. All that is required is determination and sincerity on the part
of all concerned. We are bond to have disagreement but what matters most is our
ability to see ourselves as one indivisible family, pursuing the same goals.

                            

“It is my duty
to ensure that there is genuine peace in Ika South. And I promise that, with
the help of God, all contending issues will be amicably resolved for Ika South
to move forward. Crisis does not encourage development, so everybody should
eshew bitterness and rancor. We are all one, and we should all strive to
engender a better Ika South.” he stated

                            

The Speaker went
on to declare that, in a few weeks, the suspended Ika South Council chairman,
Hon. Hillary Ibude will be recalled back to office, as according to him, the
House was already looking into the issue, with a view to bringing it to a
permanent end.

                            

On the Mace
which was allegedly stolen by some councilors and later recovered, Hon. Okonta
said it was wrong for those involved to engage in such criminal act which he
out rightly condemned. He said that he immediately he heard that the Mace was
missing he had to direct that it be return without delay, adding that he was
happy that the Mace had been retrieved.

                            

The legislator
said he was not interested in the removal of anybody from office, assuring that
the status guo will be maintained. He therefore advised policians in the LGA to
learn to tolerate one another irrespective of political differences and
affiliations “we must learn to tolerate and accommodate one another for the
interest of our land “he stressed

                            

Speaking also,
the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta North Senatorial
District, Hon. Ben Obuh said that the party have set mectincy in motion to
enthrone lasting peace in Ika South, but however noted that those who have been
undermining peace and progress in the LGA have been advised to desist as the
party will no longer tolerate such unwholesome attitude.

                            

On the recent
development in the LGA, the Delta North PDP chairman said that “the party will
not close its eyes to what has just happened. It will certainly address it. He
nevertheless advised politicians in the LGA to be more focus and be objective
in all they do in the interest of the people adding that they should pursue
community interest rather than self interest.                               

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