Governor Alex Otti has appealed to members of the 8th Abia State House of Assembly to support his administration to deliver what he termed “the real dividend of democracy” to the people of the state.
He made the call as Emmanuel Emeruwa of the Labour Party (LP) emerged as the speaker of the 8th Abia State House of Assembly.
Emeruwa, who is representing Aba South State Constituency in the House of Assembly, was elected unopposed.
In the same vein, Augustine Okezie, member, representing Umuahia East State constituency, also of the Labour Party (LP) emerged as the deputy speaker after he was nominated by Okoro Uchenna, member representing Arochukwu State constituency.
Okezie’s emergence was opposed by Solomon Apulonu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former majority leader of the House, who accused Johnpedro Irokansi, clerk of the House, of bias.
Apulonu, a ranking member, who represents Obingwa East State constituency, argued that the position of the Deputy Speaker ought to have been ceded to the PDP, which has majority of the House. His cry for justice resulted to a rowdy session, which was later calmed. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker were later sworn in.
Otti, in an address at the inauguration of the 8th Abia State House of Assembly, held Wednesday at it’s legislative chambers, urged the legislators to jetison partisan politics and focus on providing good legislation that would engender real development in the state.
He reminded them that they were first Abians before becoming members of their various political parties and urged them to put the people that they represent first before political parties.
Otti, who expressed joy over the success of the elections of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, enjoined them to keep the spirit of oneness in all their activities.
“One thing I learnt today is that disagreement is part of human nature , but at the end of the day what happens is that we disagree to agree,” he said.
He congratulated the Speaker and the deputy speaker and all members of the Abia State House of Assembly and urged them to work in harmony.
“We are one and the same people in Abia. Elections will come and go and once elections are over, governance starts.
“I will like to draw your attention to the huge responsibilities before us and to also let you know that the expectations of the electorate are high.
“I have taken a personal commitment that I will not disappoint them. And I will like you to join me in ensuring that we do not disappoint them.
“We have financial challenges and infrastructural decay and we should not use that as an excuse and that was why the people voted us into office, because they believe that we have solutions to the challenges. So, our government shall be without excuses and full of actions,” he said.
Otti extended his warm hand of fellowship to the legislators and assured them that he would work with everyone of them to ensure that his administration delivers the real dividends of democracy to the people.
“As members of the 8th Abia State House of Assembly, you did not bring yourselves here, if God did not will it and if people did not vote for you, you could not have brought yourselves here, so you should always remember those who brought you here.
“So, even if you go to bed hungry, don’t allow your people to go to bed hungry,” he said.