Thursday, 23 April 2015

Anambra State House of Assembly To Produce A-Third Female Speaker

By Okechukwu Onuegbu
Image result for pictures of hon. nikky ugochukwu
Hon. Nikky Ugochukwu
The Anambra State House of Assembly election has come and gone, winners and losers also emerged in the 30 contested vacant seats in the red chamber. According to the result released by the INEC, the state ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) swept 27, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) garnered the remaining 3 seats.

This is a boost to APGA considering the 2011 poll in which the political party won 14 legislative positions; PDP 8, ACN 6, Labour and Accord political parties 1 member each.

However, it was only 14 serving state legislators that scaled through the election out of 20 members who slugged it out across different political parties.

The six defeated serving lawmakers include Honourables Paulinus Onyeka (APGA-Ekwusigo Constituency); John Olibie, PDP-Dunukofia Constituency; Tony-Oneweek Mounagor, APC, Idemili North Constituency; Emeka Aniebonam, APC-Onitsha South 1; Ebele Obi, APC, Idemili South; Kenechukwu Chukwuemeka, APC, Awka 1 constituency.  

It will be recalled that ten incumbent lawmakers did not join the race at all due to some reasons. Among them are Hon. Chukwudi Orizu, the Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly representing Nnewi North; Hon. Ebele Ejiofor, of Anaocha 1 State Constituency and his counterparts from Anaocha 2, Hon. Anslem Dunu (both are first term APGA sitting lawmakers) allegedly denied party tickets as a result of zoning arrangements in their respective constituencies.

Others were Hon. Rebecca Udorji of Awka-North; and Hon. Modestus Ohazulike of Ihiala 2 who were PDP candidates (Ejike Oguebego led faction) whose names were later replaced with that of the members loyal to Hon. Ken. Emekayi faction.

Also, five of the State Legislators, who tested their popularity on the National Assembly election; were Hon. Emeka Anohu of Ihiala 1 State Constituency (Labour Party), now PDP-House of Representative-Elect for Ihiala Federal Constituency; Hon. Clare Chinwe Nwaebili, the outgoing Speaker of the state House of Assembly, representative Ogbaru 1 under APGA, but lost her bid to represent Ogbaru Federal House of Representative via APGA; Hon. Emeka Iduu of Onitsha North 2 State constituency (Accord Party) and winner for Onitsha North/South Federal Constituency at Federal House of Representative under the platform of PDP; Hon. Godwin Onyewife (PDP) of Ayemelum state constituency and winner of Oyi/Ayemelum Federal Constituency through APGA; and Hon. Valentine Ayika of Njikoka 1 State Constituency, whose PDP-Faction loyal to Ejike Oguebego State Chairman had his name sub-changed to the current winner of Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency, Dr. Okey Eze, a faithful of Hon. Ken Emekaye faction.

Following the outcome, upon the inauguration of 8th Assembly in June, APGA shall maintain her majority position in the Hallow Chamber just as it was in the outgoing session, while her PDP counterparts shall constitute the minority automatically.

But the Speakership and Deputy Speakership seats must surely change although within the APGA fold since the incumbent Speaker, Rt. Hon. Princess Chinwe Clara Nwaebili and her Deputy, Hon. Prince Chukwudi Orizu shall vacate the Chamber sequel to their fate. Already, Speaker Nwaebili, a-second term member representing Ogbaru state constituency 2, has being replaced by the current winner of the constituency election Hon. Somtochukwu Udeze (APGA), while the Deputy-Speaker, Prince Orizu although a first timer, will bow out to the eventual winner, Hon. Ken. Amara Anazodo (APGA).
Who shall become the next Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly?

Although yet to be made public, APGA, being majority in the House, may likely zone the Speakership slot to Anambra South Senatorial Zone, inasmuch Anambra North which produced the outgoing Speaker also provided the incumbent governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano; and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Sir Oseloka Obaze; even as Anambra Central district has Dr. Nkem Okeke, the Deputy Governor of the state; and the Outgoing Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Harford Oseke; leaving the southern part of Anambra with nothing exception of the outgoing Deputy Speaker, Prince Orizu.

Anambra South Senatorial district has 10 State Constituencies such as Aguata 1 and 2, Ihiala 1 and 2, Nnewi South 1 and 2, Nnewi North, Orumba North, Orumba South and Ekwusigo constituencies. But among the ten incoming legislators from the zone, Hon. Princess Nikky Ugochukwu of Orumba South is the only one going for third term.

Others, Hon. Romanus Ugochukwu, Orumba North; Hon. Ikechukwu Umeh, Aguata 1; Hon. Ikemefuna Uzoezie, Aguata 2; Nnewi South 1, Kingsley Iruba; Nnewi North 2, Rita Maduagwu are second timers, while Ihiala 1, Hon. Chidi Udemadu; Ihiala 2, Paschal Agbodike; Nnewi North, Amara Anazodo are coming to the chamber for first time.

Before now, it was alleged that Hon. Paulinus Onyeka, the Chairman House Committee on Information and State Orientation, from Ekwusigo constituency, was Governor Obiano’s anointed son for the exalted position; however, luck was against him as PDP candidate Hon. Onyebuchi Offor snatched the constituency from him in a free and fair poll.

Therefore, if zoning is to be taken, based on years of being in the red chamber, Hon. Nikky Ugochukwu may be the answer. Aside her years of active service in the House, Hon. Ugochukwu, who doubles as the Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Also, nominated Hon. Chukwudi Orizu for Deputy Speakership position in 2011. So, she may likely become the third female Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly.

The first and second female Speakers of the Anambra State House of Assembly were Rt. Hon. Eucharia Anazodo, PDP-Aguata 2 constituency, who recently won Aguata Federal House of Representative under PDP for a-second term; and the Rt. Hon. Chinwe Nwaebili, the outgoing Speaker.

But if contrary, the Speakership slot may likely fall on Hon. Ikemefuna Uzoezie, member representing Aguata 1 state constituency and son of Dr. Ego Uzoezie, the former Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development and Provost, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe. Besides his connections in the past and present political dispensation, Hon. Uzoezie is among the vibrant lawmakers who had virtuously contributed in all legislative discussions in the hallow chamber.

Other likely Speakership considerations are Hon. Romanus Ugochukwu, Orumba-North constituency and Hon. Kingsley Iruba, Nnewi South whose zones lacked top notable government functionaries at Anambra State government.

But peradventure zoning is not taking into consideration, the next Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly may be either Hon. Benson Nwawulu of Ogbaru 1 or Hon. Bar. Chugbo Enwezor of Onitsha North 1 constituency. Both figures are experienced lawmakers from Anambra North, who had sponsored and co-sponsored many bills and motions more than their colleagues.

But while Hon. Nwawulu is a third term member of the Assembly, Hon. Enwezor is a-second term member, who nominated the outgoing Speaker, Hon. Nwaebili for the position in 2011.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Anambra State House of Assembly to see who become the next Speaker of the hallow chamber.



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