Kogi assembly crisis ends as speaker resigns

THE crisis rocking the Kogi State House of Assembly was on Tuesday resolved as the embattled speaker, Rt Hon Momoh Lawal resigned and members formally elected Hon Imam Umar as the substantive speaker of the assembly.

The sitting, which took place at the gallery of the assembly, saw the two factions sitting together for the first time since February 16 that the crisis started with the impeachment of Lawal by five out of the then 20 members in the assembly.

The election of a new speaker followed the reading of the letter of resignation from Lawal dated July 26 to the Clerk of assembly.

The deputy speaker, Aliyu Akuh, who presided over the sitting, which was attended by 22 members with the exception of Lawal read the resignation letter on the floor of the assembly.

The letter read in part, “We are all aware of the needless pains; the leadership crisis that had engulfed this noble assembly in the past few months caused our constituents and retarded the development of our beloved state, Kogi.

“I would have preferred to continue with the struggle for the entrenchment of democratic values, but the interest of Kogi State must always come before any personal considerations. Let me quickly add that I am not a quitter but as the leader of this noble house, I must put Kogi State first.

“Today, my resignation as speaker of this house was a difficult decision but I do believed, it is the right thing to do. This, am sure, will bring joy to some and anger to others. To those who believe in legislative democracy, I do understand your anger and frustrations.”

After reading of the letter, the majority leader of the house, Hon Kolawole Matthew, from Kabba/Bunu state constituency nominated Umar for the post of speaker and was seconded by the member representing Ajaokuta state constituency, Abdulahi Hassan.

Umar, who is representing Lokoja 1 state constituency, was thereafter unanimously elected as the new speaker of the assembly.

Speaking after his election, Umar lauded the efforts of members of the house at ensuring an end to the crisis that had been rocking the assembly.

He however pledged to make the peace now enjoyed a lasting one by ensuring an all inclusive leadership that would satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of members.