Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State Tuesday called for thorough investigation into the inferno which destroyed a portion of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly Complex.
Elechi made the call when he visited the incident scene during which he expressed sympathy over the disaster which destroyed offices, sensitive documents, furniture, cabinet, and air conditioners even as he called on public office holders to desist from making inflammatory remarks.
According to the Governor who regretted that sometime last year the Staff Development Center was as well set ablaze by unknown persons said, “I must say that some of us have grown above inciting statement. What this called for is for a through investigation.
“I have called for a serious security meeting. No exhibit should be tampered with. Last year, the Staff Development Centre, SDC, was gutted by fire and many computers were destroyed. Here I am seeing the same thing. Let’s put heads together. Accept my sympathy. It is true that it affects all of us but hold your mood, hold your breath, Elechi advised.
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Meanwhile, the House in its plenary has accused the state government of master minding the incident stressing that the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Ben Igwenyi, former People Democratic Party, PDP, youths Leader, comrade Chinedu Ogah, Commissioner for Commence and Industry, Dr Ifeanyi Ikeh, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Celestine Nwali, Barr Eni Uduma among other allies of Elechi were responsible for the inferno.
The house sitting which was attended by 13 members witnessed a motion moved by the acting leader of the house, Hon. Francis Nwifuru representing Izzi West Constituency.
Hon Nwifuru, who said that the burning down of the assembly complex was the handiwork of the executive arm of government alleged that Dr. Chike Onwe had said that soonest the house would cease to exist while maintaining that their lives were under threat and called on the Commissioner of Police to take action immediately to stop the executive from putting the house into problem.
“The burning of the house is purely the handiwork of the executive arm of government. Chike Onwe had said that very soon the house would cease to exist. Mr. Speaker, I want you to direct the Commissioner of Police to immediately stop the executive from putting this house into problem”
Seconding the motion, Hon Odefa Obasi Odefa, member representing Oncha East Constituency who said that the crisis between the executive and the legislator was an issue of life accused Celestine Nwali, Chibueze Agbo,Chinedu Ogah and Ifeanyi Ike to have met with Governor Elechi to set the assembly complex ablaze.
He accused Chinedu Ogah to have imported over 5000 thugs in to the state with the intention to kill the speaker, members of the house and the clerks and table.
“What the acting leader is trying to explain is a matter of life and that Celestine Nwali, Chibueze Agbo, Ifeanyi Ike and Chinedu Ogah met with the governor and planned to burn the house, kill the members of the house.
“The lives of the citizens and members of the house are under threat. Over 5000 thugs have been imported by Chinedu Ogah. His mission is to kill the Speaker, members, clerk etc.
“No amount of intimidation, blackmail or threat will stop us from carrying out our constitutional responsibility. The state was not created for one family. The committee set up by the house will continue to perform its duty. If anything happens to any member of the house, hold the governor responsible. Our family lives are in danger. The Inspector General of Police, DSS should provide security for our lives because no life is worth losing”, he opined.
Lending his voice to the motion, Hon. Barr. Frank Nwaka Onwe reiterated that the house had never committed any crime except that it was bent on ensuring that the right thing was done, adding that it never did wrong for asking the appointed caretaker chairmen to be sent parking for not being screened by the house.
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“From what we have seen, there was an attempt to burn down the Ebonyi State House of Assembly. It is not only condemnable but an act which is capable of truncating democracy in Ebonyi State. I keep saying that some people in this state who had in past years sworn to protect and guide the property and lives of the citizenry are now themselves turned round to destroy state property and lives of the people.
“What is the crime of members of the Ebonyi state House of Assembly? Why are they running after us? The only crime this house has committed against Governor Martin Nwanchor Elechi is that we said that constitutionality should come to play. We are saying that let the right thing done. In our own eyes there are not criminal things. We are saying that he constituted illegal caretaker committee at the local government area and ask him to send them parking. Is that a crime, he queried.
“The following persons who work with Elechi, Mr. Celestine Nwali,Chinedu Ogah, Dr. Ben Igwenyi,Chibueze Agbo, Eni Uduma Chima, Chike Onwe and the overseeing commissioner for Information should be arrested and prosecuted. How could Ifeanyi Ike the first person to come to this place without asking the speaker what happened said that it was electrical fault.
Also, Enyi C. Enyi representing Ezza North west constituency stated that if the state police and other security agents fails to provide security to the members of the house then they will have no option than resort to self help, adding that their lives are under threat but accused some cabinet members of governor Elechi of importing over 5000 mobile thugs into the state.
The Speaker, Hon Chukwuma Nwazunku condemned the act and ordered for the immediate arrest of those cabinet members alleged to have sponsored the burning down of the house by hoodlums.
He, however, declared vacant the seats of the Deputy Speaker Hon. Blaise Orji representing Afikpo South constituency and Hon. Oliver Nwachukwu representing Abakaliki constituency for anti-party activities.
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