Rowdy session in Benue assembly

FEAR of impeachment of Speaker of Benue State assembly, Honourable Terkembir Ikyangir, on Tuesday turned the House into rowdy session, leading to adjournment till Thursday.

Consequently, a group, named ‘Consensus for Change’, has asked the Speaker to resign from office as the only panacea to peace to reign in the House.

It will be recalled that the House had been enmeshed in corruption which has stalled legislative activities in the past three years, just as majority of the members had been guest of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged misappropriation and diversion of N750 million meant for purchase of cars.

Earlier, the Nigerian Tribune learnt that the crisis started when a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member from Logo State constituency, Honourable Kester Kyenger,  raised an order of public importance  which was jettisoned by the Speaker, while other members insisted that Kyenger should be allowed to raise the order.

It was gathered that the APC members, who thought that Kyenger was raising an order to pass vote of no confidence on the Speaker became violent, which divided the House along party lines.

The Speaker had to suspend the sitting for 30 minutes and when it reconvened, it later adjourned till Thursday, to calm the frayed nerves.

Leader of the Consensus for Change, Honourable Kyenger, who addressed newsmen after the House adjourned, said members had passed vote of no confidence on the Speaker and asked him to resign immediately.

Giving reasons for the call, Kyenger said there were gray areas that needed to be addressed by the Speaker, which included reasons workers in the state were yet to be paid, despite the bailouts given to the state, to explain the controversial N750 million meant for the purchase of the vehicles to members and why members were shortchanged in the car purchase.

Others included that the Speaker should with immediate effect clear the air on the reported N500 million found in his account and what happened to the N86 million meant for the purchase of biometric machines  which were yet to be seen.

Kyenger explained that there was nothing to suggest that the members planned to impeach the Speaker, “but what we demand is transparency in the activities of the House,” adding that it was unfortunate that the Speaker had refused to be transparent in his financial dealings in the House.

The chairman, House Committee on Information, Honourble Bem Mgutyoh, who spoke to newsmen after the House adjourned, said the PDP member who raised motion on order did not follow the House rules as contained in Order 8:4, which he said prompted the Speaker to ask him to sit.

Mgutyoh noted that before the House convened on Tuesday, security report hinted the House leadership that the PDP members were out  to disrupt Tuesday meeting, acknowledging the fact that the House had a problem at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but stated that the aggrieved members ought to have waited until the issue was sorted out before the House comes out of ways to resolve their internal problems.