No End for Abia Assembly Crisis as Peace Deal Collapses

The peace deal reached by the two camps of the Abia State House of Assembly aimed at resolving the crisis that engulfed the House early this month appears to have flopped.

The Speaker of the Abia House, Hon Chinedum Orji had in a statement on Wednesday claimed that “a peaceful resolution of the crisis in the 7th Abia House of Assembly” has been achieved.

He further announced that the suspension of some lawmakers that had participated in the purported impeachment of the Speaker has been “lifted and voided via legislative actions”.

However, the Speaker’s declaration of a peaceful resolution of the crisis has been faulted by the minority leader Hon Chijioke Chukwu and some other lawmakers.

Hon Chukwu, Hon. Mike Ukoha, Hon. Aaron Uzodike and other law makers rejected the replacement of the Deputy Speaker, Hon Ifeanyi Uchendu with Mandela Obasi.

Uchendu was impeached on May 2 for leading the revolt against the Speaker and was replaced by Hon Obasi.

While acknowledging that members of the House from the two camps had met to resolve the crisis, Hon Chukwu insisted that the agreement was that everyone should return to status quo in the next sitting slated for Friday May 26, 2023.

“If we are sincere about a peaceful resolution of the House, it means that everyone must return to status quo as agreed and that means that Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu remains the Deputy Speaker of the House,” he said.

“Hon. Mandela Obasi cannot be the Deputy Speaker when the authentic Deputy Speaker is there,” the Minority Leader added.

The 7th Abia House of Assembly was polarised on May 2 after a group of 15 lawmakers held a session at Emeka Omeruah Guest House, a government facility and “impeached” the Speaker and replaced him with Hon Chukwudi Apugo.

In a swift move, the Speaker, Hon Orji convened a plenary with eight other members and suspended all their colleagues that participated in the session held outside the Assembly. Hon Uchendu was impeached as Deputy Speaker an replaced with Hon Obasi.