Whispers of an impending impeachment plot echo through the corridors of Imo State House of Assembly, as discontent brews among its members over the perceived high-handedness of the current Principal Officers.
Sources reveal that discontentment is reaching a tipping point, prompting members to contemplate a seismic shift within the legislative structure.
The focal point of this dissatisfaction centers around the current Speaker, Rt Hon Chike Olemgbe, whose alleged inexperience is cited as a significant factor that has rendered the House ineffectual.
Members accuse Olemgbe of lacking outspokenness and assertiveness, asserting that his reserved demeanor has allowed the Executive to infringe on the rights of House members with ease.
While acknowledging Olemgbe’s personal qualities of goodness and diligence, critics argue that his leadership is overshadowed by those around him, particularly Deputy Speaker Rt Hon Amara Iwuanyanwu.
There are claims that Iwuanyanwu, in essence, acts as the de facto Speaker, diminishing Olemgbe’s authority and presenting a facade of weakness.
The discontented members are pushing for a reshuffle that would see the removal of Amara Iwuanyanwu, alongside the Speaker and Majority Leader Hon Kanayo Onyemechi.
Complaints about Onyemechi include allegations of collaborating with lawmakers to ride roughshod over their colleagues, displaying an attitude that others are merely errand boys.
Despite the brewing discontent, some members have reportedly withdrawn from the plot,
skeptical of its success.
Previous attempts to remove Iwuanyanwu as Deputy Speaker faltered due to his perceived strong connections with the Executive Arm of the Imo Government.
The House Speaker, Olemgbe, a first-time legislator, ascended to the Speaker’s position due to a legislative amendment that allowed even first-time members to hold the position.
Amid this uncertainty, some members are positioning themselves for potential vacancies, with the Imo Speakership traditionally zoned to Okigwe Zone.
If a shake-up occurs, potential contenders waiting in the wings include Hons Sam Osuji (Isiala Mbano), Chidiebere Ogbunikpa, a two-time ranking member (Okigwe), former Speaker and three-time Assembly member, Rt Hon Kennedy Ibe (Obowo), Benard Ozoemelam (Ihitte–Uboma), and James Esile (Onuimo).
The present Imo House of Assembly is viewed by some as “suffering and smiling,” maintaining a semblance of peace for the stability of Imo State.
An Owerri based newspaper quoted a disgruntled lawmaker to have emphasized the need for impactful actions in their constituencies, citing a lack of funds as a hindrance to executing constituency projects.
Dr. Adolphus Ofonze from Nkwerre LGA expresses disillusionment, asserting that the current House has become too quiet, fading into irrelevance for the Imo masses.
He points to the House’s refusal to support autonomy for itself, contrasting with other legislative bodies across Nigeria that endorsed the move.
Ofonze concludes that the House brought its current predicament upon itself and should confront the consequences.