L-r: Suswam, Ogaji and Ayua
Penultimate week, the Benue State House of Assembly was tensed and pregnant with expectations as political watchers and members of the state public, waited anxiously for news of the impeachment of the speaker of the Assembly.
News that filtered the air had it that as at Wednesday, 18 out of the 30 members of the assembly had already signed impeachment notice meant to be served on the Speaker, Hon. Terhemen Ayua on resumption of sitting the next day.
The aggrieved members who were set to serve “a vote of no confidence” on Ayua claimed the speaker had failed to protect the interest of members of the House, even as they were being owed about three months salaries plus failure to pay them over head cost for running of their offices.
Led by the Minority Leader, Hon. Benjamin Adanyi, the recent bills passed by the assembly where members of the opposition walked out of the sitting during deliberation of the Local Government, Benue Internal Revenue Service ( BIRS ), Chieftaincy Bills, is also another grouse.
According to our source the Majority leader of the House, Hon. Paul Biam was believed to have connived with members of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ), who were given 50 million Naira to facilitate the smooth passage of the bill had sidelined the opposition members.
It was gathered that the money given by the governor and shared by Paul Biam was only given to members of the ruling party sidelining the opposition bloc which has sprout the current agitation and call for Ayua’s head.
This led to a closed door session ended with a resolve to sit by six O’clock, but unknown to the members, the clerk of the house had directed his staff to lock the Chambers and securely lock the hammer and attendance books to forestall any unplanned occurrence which at the time of filling this report were under lock and key, even as he left before the end of the executive session.
Sequel to the botched session intended to relieve Ayua of his leadership, the Speaker approached the state governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam who came in from Abuja on hearing the news, threatening resignation to avert the embarrassment of impeachment.
Suswam’s timely return was the magic wand that turned the event around as it has been revealed that on arrival, Governor Gabriel Suswam summoned the leadership of the House to a midnight meeting at the Aper Aku governor’s lodge where the house members laid their grievances and also Ayua was asked not to resign as all concerns were promised to be settled.
Insider reports say, the meeting ended with the House leadership taking away 50 million Naira to pacify the aggrieved members while a promise to pay their outstanding salaries and overhead allowances was made and met on Friday.