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My Take On The Political Crisis In The Akwa Ibom State House Of Assembly

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What is ensuing in Akwa Ibom State does not worry me so much. Neither the PDP nor the APC is fighting for the people. The on going fight is not about the welfare of the people but a desperate battle of supremacy by two political parties who are essentially preoccupied with capturing power for self- aggrandizement. Those who are taking sides are not doing so out of conviction but are primarily actuated by blind partisanship. Do not be deceived by the arrogant noises. The House of Assembly in Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of Mr. Onofiok Luke has never stood up against executive malfeasance. It has never indicted the executive despite myriads of infractions committed by the Udom Emmanuel administration. Mr. Luke is one of the most subservient State Assembly Speakers in Nigeria. Here is a man who publicly and shamelessly declared that the House of Assembly is not only a rubber stamp but the iron seal of the governor. I can cite several examples to show that the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly under Luke is anti-people. When we raise these issues, some people will talk about his sociability as if the duty of a Speaker is to attend parties, funerals, marriages and other social activities. We do not need a Speaker that is “sociable”, we need a Speaker that will lead the House on oversight of the executive and passage of pro-people laws. On the real issue, I advise Onofiok Luke to immediately retrace his steps. He cannot be acting like a mediaeval emperor. It is illegal for him to declare seats of members whose cases are pending in court vacant. That singular act has eroded every claim of good faith that he may want to assert. It is an affront on the Judiciary. It violates the principle of lis pendens. Onofiok Luke is a lawmaker and not a judge. He cannot pass legislative judgements on cases that are pending in court. On Mr. Idongesit Ituen, since the same Court of law that declared his seat vacant has stayed the execution of the judgement, the Speaker has no choice but to abide by it and appeal if aggrieved. It is not in his mouth to question the correctness or timing of the order for stay of execution. As a lawyer, he knows that a decision of a court no matter how perverse is valid and binding until it is set aside on appeal. Those arguing that the order for stay of execution is belated since the Speaker had purportedly executed the judgement before it was made should canvass that argument before the Court of Appeal. The Speaker cannot determine which order of court to obey. On the purported emergence of Mr. Nse Ntuen as the Speaker, it is null and void. Nse Ntuen is not the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. He cannot become the Speaker through political wizardry. This childish display is a mockery of our democracy. Finally, let the siege on the House of Assembly cease forthwith. The lawmakers who decamped to the APC (whose cases are pending in court) are still members of the Assembly and have the right to take part in the activities of the House of Assembly until and or except the Court says otherwise. If Mr. Luke decides to be a judge in this case, he should bear the consequences of his arbitrariness and arrogance in silence. Akwa Ibom people should not lose sleep over this matter, the fight is not for the people but for the actualization of the selfish, partisan and atrocious ambitions of unpatriotic political actors. Signed: Inibehe Effiong
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