The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Dr. Acho Ihim, has distanced the lawmakers from the recent endorsement of Governor Rochas Okorocha’s son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, as the next governor of the state by 2019.
The Chairman, House Committee on Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission and Niger Delta Development Commission, Henry Ezediaro, representing Oguta state Constituency, had last week announced Nwosu’s endorsement by the lawmakers.
Ezediaro, who claimed that the House had endorsed Nwosu, who is also the Chief of Staff to the Governor, as the best person to succeed Okorocha in 2019 had also maintained that all his colleagues were party to the endorsement.
But the embattled House said it was only concerned with its constitutional mandate of making laws for the good of the citizens of the state and not in the business of endorsing anybody for any political office.
It therefore described the claim as “mind-boggling” and unbecoming of an honourable lawmaker.
The Speaker, who reacted through a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Marcel Ekwezuo, on Sunday said, “I am constrained to debunk the news making the rounds that the lmo State House of Assembly has unanimously endorsed Ugwumba Uche Nwosu as the next governor of lmo State come 2019. Uche Nwosu is one of our own and is eminently qualified to contest the governorship of our dear state.
“No doubt, he is a member of the APC and a citizen of lmo State and these therefore give him the right to vote and be voted for. However, it needs be made clear that at no time did the members of the lmo State House of Assembly which comprises elected members of the APC and the PDP meet and endorse Ugwumba Uche Nwosu as our preferred governorship candidate or any person for that matter.
“The job of elected members of the House of Assembly is to make laws and make resolutions at the plenary that will impact positively on the lives of the people of lmo State. Endorsement of candidates for whatever position is not part of it.
“Each member is at liberty to have preference for any aspirant of their choice but certainly not a House matter. Its therefore mind-boggling that a distinguished honourable member is quoted to have granted a press interview declaring that the 27 honourable members have endorsed Ugwumba Uche Nwosu.”
The Speaker’s aide added, “Yes, power comes from God and He gives it to whosoever He wills and if Ugwumba is favoured by God for this job then so be it. It is the duty of the APC as a party to produce a candidate and if that candidate is Ugwumba Uche Nwosu then the Honourable members of the APC extraction are duty bound to support the candidate.
“In the light of the foregoing, l want to believe that Hon Henry Ezediaro who is at liberty to personally support whoever he wants to support was quoted out of context by saying the entire 27 members have endorsed Ugwumba Uche Nwosu and even donated 27 buses also went further to dare Governor Anayo Rochas Okorocha.
“The entire lmolites are, therefore, advised to discountenance the said publication as that of course is the figment of imagination of the writer and has no bearing with the lmo State House of Assembly and her revered members.”
However, when contacted, Ezediaro remained adamant on the controversial endorsement, insisting that, “if the House leadership says it is not in support of the endorsement does it reduce the fact that majority of the House members met and endorsed Nwosu as the next governor? We are standing on our decision and very soon I am going to make the names of the said members public.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )