We must not allow Insecurity to Degenerate in Abia – Assembly (Full Details of Plenary of Tuesday, February 2)

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Hon Nnamdi Allen Nwachukwu, Member representing Osisioma South State Constituency led the opening prayer.

The Abia State House of Assembly commenced plenary after the adoption of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 29th December, 2020.

LETTER FROM THE GOVERNOR

The Speaker read out a letter from the Governor asking the House for the confirmation of a nominee, Hon Justice StellaMaris Chinedum Ururuka Onyenso as the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Abia State.

The House screened and confirmed the appointment of Hon Justice StellaMaris Chinedum Ururuka Onyenso as the new President Customary Court of Appeal, Abia State.

MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

Rt Hon Chikwendu Kalu, Member representing Isiala Ngwa South State Constituency, brought a matter of Urgent Public Importance saying that his Constituency is on fire and in a fearful state.

“This morning, I received a distress call that a police post in my Constituency was burnt down and a police inspector killed by armed men numbering about 30”, Rt Hon Kalu said.

He prayed the House to request the Commissioner of Police, the Commander of Homeland Security and other security agencies in the State to swing into action immediately to avert total breakdown of law and order in the area.

On his own part, Hon Emeka Okoroafor, Member representing Isuikwuato State Constituency, brought up another Matter of Urgent Public Importance to the House. He frowned at the incessant killing and kidnappings going on in Isuikwuato, saying these evil acts are alleged to be perpetrated by gun welding herdsmen. The Lawmaker said lives have been lost, economy in the area has collapsed and the people are living in fear. He further said that the policemen in the area are doing absolutely nothing to stop the ugly menace.

Honourable Emeka Okoroafor prayed the House to invite all the security heads in the State to have an interaction with the House and advised that the House mandate the House Committee on Security to visit the area and have interactions with the relevant stakeholders so as to put an end to the menace.

Contributing, Honourable Godwin Adiele, Member representing Ukwa West State Constituency said that the security architecture in the State is in disarray and that almost all the local governments in the State have experienced this burgeoning security threat. He urged the House to invite the security heads in the State to the House for a special briefing.

Honourable Abraham Oba, Member representing Aba Central State Constituency, supported the invitation of the security heads in the State to the House for an interactive session, he emotionally narrated how a Point of Sale {POS} operator was robbed and killed by armed men in Aba and said if nothing urgent is done the security in the State might be in total shambles.

Other House Members who lent their voices to the Matter and supported the invitation of the security heads in the State to the House are Honourable Okey Igwe, Member representing Umunneochi State Constituency, Hon Ginger Onwusibe, Member representing Isiala Ngwa North State Constituency, and Hon Chukwudi Apugo, Member representing Umuahia East State Constituency.

While speaking on the matter, the Speaker said he is “quite sad over the recent attacks on our people in Isuikwuato”, and also condemned in its entirety the barbaric incident that happened in Isiala Ngwa South where a police post was burnt down and a security personnel beheaded in cold blood, saying “these types of incidents are not acceptable in our society,

“We need to look deeply into this reoccurring security breaches that have been happening in Isuikwuato and other parts of the state especially the one that just happened in Isiala Ngwa South before it escalates, which might lead to total break down of law and order”, the Speaker said.

The Speaker further said that the recent heightened security challenges in parts of the country that were hitherto peaceful won’t be far from the hijacked ENDSARS protest. He said the original intention of the conveners of the ENDSARS protest was thwarted by hoodlums who started destroying people’s properties, businesses and houses, burning down police stations and carting away firearms in the process.

“What we are witnessing here today is the total nonchalant attitude of the police and other security agencies because of the hijacked ENDSARS protest which hugely affected them negatively. But that should change.

“Also the Laws made by us here and the many resolutions passed by the elected representatives of the people are not being implemented as expected. We have passed the Anti Grazing Law and I’m made to understand the Governor has given his assent to it. if anybody wants to do Cattle business in the State, the person can do ranching where you buy a piece of land, fence it, and put in the cows there and do your business. In such way, you don’t cross paths with the locals.

“The issue of kidnappings having some colouration of collaboration with some security agencies should also be looked into because it is abnominable.

Based on the cries of our people, we can never return to what we experienced in this state some years back; no citizen of the state should be subjected to that trauma. We have passed through that trauma once and we don’t need it again. That is why we need to interface with the security agencies in the State.

“As an arm of Government, we have the constitutional powers to invite anybody here to give us some answers to questions we want so we can pass same to our Constituents because we will be failing in our duties if we don’t do anything concerning this matter as our people are being kidnapped and shot. If we don’t do anything now and the people take laws into their hands, it will only lead to an escalation of an already bad situation” the Speaker said in an emotion laden voice.

The Speaker thereafter mandated the Clerk of the House to send out invitation letters to all the security heads in the State to appear at the executive session of the House on Monday, 8th of February, 2021, saying, “we need to hear from them and know what their challenges are so we can help them find solutions through the executive”.

PERSONAL EXPLANATION

Hon Abraham Oba, Member representing Aba Central Constituency, in his Personal Explanation thanked the Governor immensely for constructing and commissioning many road projects with several others still ongoing in his immediate Constituency. He said the newly reconstructed Ojike, Milverton, Eziukwu and Ukaegbu roads are of massive economic importance to Aba but also appealed to the Governor to extend his Infrastructural lift to other areas of need in Aba.

NOTICE OF PRESENTATION OF MOTION

H.A.M 12 : “Motion on the Need for National Identity Management Commission {NIMC} to establish more National Identification Number Enrollment Centres across the 24 State Constituencies of Abia State” sponsored by Honourable Emmanuel Ndubuisi, Member representing Bende South State Constituency.

The Motion was however stood down to be considered on a future legislative date.

ORDER OF THE DAY

  1. Presentation of the Report of the Joint Committee on Judiciary and Public Utilities on H.A.B 12 : The Abia State Electric Power Authority and Power Stations Bill, 2019.
  2. Presentation of the Report of the Committee on NDDC/ASOPADEC and Petroleum Matters on the Petition titled “Illegal Excavation of Crude Oil {Bunkering} Acts likely to cause Breach of Peace at our Oil Palm Plantation Farm Land in Igiri-Ukwu Autonomous Community in Ukwa West Local Government Area”.
  3. Presentation of the Report of the House Committee on Industry , Science and Technology H.A.B 24: The Abia State Industrial Clusters Establishment Bill, 2020.
  4. H.A.B 36: The Abia State Watershed Agency Bill, 2020 sponsored by the Majority Leader, Hon Solomon Akpulonu.
  5. Consideration of H.A.B. 21: A Bill for a Law to Establish Abians in Diaspora Commission and for other matters incidental thereto, in the Committee of the Whole.

Items 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the Order Paper were deferred to be considered on another legislative date.

The House thereafter adjourned Plenary to resume sitting on Monday, 8th of February, 2021 at 10am.

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