Rivers Crisis: Federal Lawmaker, Okonkwo, Advises Assembly Members to Resign

Sunday Okobi

The 27 lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), have been advised to choose the right path and respectfully hang their gloves as members of the state House of Assembly, and pursue their new love in APC as ordinary members of the party.

Making this call yesterday, the member representing Idemili North and South federal constituency of Anambra State, Hon. Uche Harris Okonkwo, who in a brief chat with journalists, stated that: “The poor script emanating from the defected former Rivers State Assembly members is a grievous new level of assault on the integrity of our democracy and operational sanctity of our constitution.

“Let’s be clear about this, I am neither a member of the PDP, nor APC, so I can’t be a beneficiary or loser in this dog fight for supremacy in Rivers State. But as a lawmaker just as they were before defection, I feel personally scandalised that the solemn institution of the legislature is being so defaced and abused in a manner close to the gutter of impunity.

“The intent of the law is always clear from the letters of it, and never endorsed that less than a year of swearing an oath to defend the constitution as members of the hallowed legislature of your state, you can carry the trophy of the party that gave you their ticket to donate to another party arbitrarily and selfishly, without consequences.

The lawmaker added: “Honour should have supremacy over bravado, and politicians should stop increasing the poverty of honour in the corridors of politics and leadership, if we truly wish this country well.

“Therefore, my simple reading of it is that if those legislators suddenly became so love-struck by the APC attraction, so be it, but certainly not with what belonged to another. That victory was for PDP, not APC, and it’s amazing how so much drama is being invested to polish a bad conduct that ordinarily should be scorned.

“Just the other day too, I heard that about five Labour Party legislators stealthily defected to PDP, as part of a desperate trade off to donate Majority House to the governor and his party, PDP. That is how easy bad conduct spreads. Leaders should be careful before citizens are fed up, because the excessive executive manipulation of situations which most times, lacks no art nor sense, is a tragic slur in our current longest democracy experience that has enjoyed twenty five unbroken reign.”

Okonkwo lamented the body politics in Nigeria, “which we should all unite by conversion or practice, to clean, rinse and shine. If we ever hope to earn and appreciate what we profess and aspire to, respect to our constitution and obedience to the rule of law is not just non-negotiable, but critical and essential wisdom.”

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