By Onyekachi Eze and Okey Alozie
One of the fallouts of the 2021 Budget presentation in the Imo State House of Assembly is the attack on the speaker, Rt Hon Paul Emeziem over certain shortfalls noticed in the conduct of the plenary session.
Trouble started for the new speaker who emerged a month ago after Chiji Collins was impeached, when the governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma finished his presentation.
Majority members of the House, Trumpeta learnt were aggrieved at Emeziem for not giving them opportunity to speak and address the governor.
It was learnt that after such presentations, the ritual is for all the lawmakers to react with a comment irrespective of party platforms.
Trumpeta observed that instead of giving the nod to all the House members to give brief comments concerning the budget as representatives of the various state constituencies, the speaker only allowed few persons, believed to be his loyalists to react.
His action irked several of the lawmakers, especially those of the minority PDP who showed resentment to his approach in choosing who speaks.
Another action of the speaker which infuriated his colleagues to be against him was the manner he ended the plenary moments the governor left the chamber.
Unlike in the past where the speaker adjourns later after deliberations moment the governor leaves the chamber, Emeziem hurriedly ended the session on adjournment. His action surprised many of the lawmakers who considered it abnormal and signs of incompetence on the part of speaker Emeziem.
A concerned lawmaker who is of the APC was unpleasant over the manner the speaker hurriedly ended plenary session. The House member who didn’t want his name in print informed that there are signs of alleged autocratic tendencies rearing up from Emeziem’s end similar to what was experienced during the Chiji Collins era.
Another lawmaker accused Emeziem of favoritism in the choice of the House members who spoke. “He is looking at his new found caucus for them to speak. We are watching.
Similarly, the presentation of the 2021 budget by the Governor of Imo State to the State House of Assembly, yesterday, didn’t end well, as two members of the House have lampooned the Speaker, Paul Emeziem over a perceived discrimination.
While ten other Lawmakers were allowed to contribute on the budget presented before it by Uzodinma, Members for Oru West and Ihitte/Uboma, respectively, Honorables; Dominic Ezerioha and Michael Onyemaechi Njoku were not permitted.
Aside the two that raise their hands to talk, others were also shunned for unknown reasons.
Angered by this development, Ezerioha and Crown who couldn’t hide their feelings opened up and condemned the Speaker’s action.
Although they spoke openly for whosoever that cared to listen to hear, they said as Lawmakers, they don’t know why the Speaker could make such selection of who he would want to talk.
They continued talking until they moved to the Speaker’s lodge, venue for reception.
At the Speaker’s lodge, their colleagues tried speaking to them to let go, but they drove off angrily, and termed it a premeditated arrangement to favour some, and witch-hunt others before the Chief Executive of the State.