Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, has warned the incoming Labour Party-led administration in Abia State not to allow “oppressors of the state” to hijack the leadership of the eight State Assembly.
The warning is coming on the heels of the intense lobbying and horse-trading over the speakership of the eight Assembly.
Labour Party which won the March 18 governorship poll won 10 out of the 24-member Assembly while the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, won 12 seats.
COSEYL argued that being a ranking lawmaker should not be the only criterion to determine who becomes the Speaker of a House of Assembly.
National President of COSEYL, Comrade Goodluck Ibem who spoke with our Correspondent maintained that what is necessary is the competence and credibility of a candidate for the number three office in the state.
He said that any Assembly member-elect who has the needed quality to lead the House should not be denied the opportunity on the excuse that he or she is not a ranking lawmaker.
The COSEYL President who said that Abians sacrificed so much to rescue the state from the hands of oppressors at the last election, warned that the youths would not fold their arms to watch few selfish individuals hijack the legislature.
He advised the Governor-Elect, Dr Alex Otti, to be at alert over any attempt to impose a Speaker on the incoming Assembly as such could be a clog in the wheel of progress of his administration.
Ibem insisted that any lawmaker-elect from Abia South with proven integrity and capacity should be allowed to emerge as Speaker whether or not he or she is a ranking member.
He said it made no sense to allow a corruption-infested person or an incompetent fellow to become the Speaker on the mere excuse of being a ranking member when there are better options among freshers.
The COSEYL helmsman drummed support for the member-elect for Abia North state constituency, Hon. Destiny Nwangwu (Labour Party), who he said stands tall among his colleagues.
“We have painstakingly ran a profile check of all elected House of Assembly members-elect for the 8th Abia State House of Assembly in other to ensure that Ndi Abia get a Speaker who is inspired by commitment to serve selflessly, a man of integrity, a man who understands the dreams and inspiration of the Governor to turn Abia around for good and a man who has no baggage of any wrong doing or corruption.
“As a group that has the interest of the people at heart and desires for positive and proactive change in Abia State, we subjected the names of Abia South House of Assembly members-elect to an open election by the Abia people and Hon. Destiny Nwagwu won with the majority votes cast.”