History was made yesterday, 10th June, 2019, at the first session of the 7th Assembly of Enugu State House of Assembly. It was in this epoch making event that the honourable members representing Awgu South and Awgu North, Hon Johnson Chukwuobasi and Rt. Hon. Jane Eneh (the new Chief Whip) respectively were sworn-in alongside 22 other colleagues as honourable members of the 7th assembly of Enugu State.
The event which took place at the Assembly’s Complex commenced at 10: 08am, with the House Clerk, Mr Emmanuel Udenyi who presided over the proceedings before the emergence of the new principal officers.
In his opening remarks, Mr Udenyi said the inauguration was taking place at the behest of His Excellency Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Executive Governor of Enugu State. According to him, the Governor acting in accordance with Section 105, Subsection 3 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had transmitted an official declaration dated 7th Jun, 2019, requesting the House to convene the first session of the 7th State Assembly on Monday 11th June, 2019 by 10.00am. Thereafter Mr Udenyi informed the House that their business for the day was to take a roll call of the members and elect presiding officers.
The following Hon. Members were called to present their certificates of return and assert declaration issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) respectively.
Names: State Constituencies:
- Okwu Chinedu Aninri
- Ene Jane Awgu North
- Chukwuobasi Johnson Awgu South
- Ugwu Hillary Enugu East 1
- Ubosi Edward Enugu East 2
- Onoh Ibekaku Enugu North
- Ngene Sam O. Enugu South 1
- Ugwu Onyinye Enugu South 2
- Obieze Chima Ezeagu
- Asadu Jane O. Igbo Etiti West
- Ezenta Ugochukwu Igbo Etiti East
- Ugwuanyi Ethel Igboeze West
- Ugwu Innocent Igboeze North 2
- Madu Emeka Igboeze South
- Ugwu Chijioke Isi-Uzo
- Nnajiofo Paul Nkanu East
- Aniagu Iloabuchi Nkanu West
- Nwaba Christian Nsukka East
- Ugwuora Emmanuel Nsukka West
- Mba Godfrey Oji River
- Ezeugwu Ikechukwu Udenu
- Ugwu Uchechukwu Udi North
- Ene Chukwuka Udi South
- Okika Japheth Uzo-Uwani
Election of Presiding Officers:
Rt. Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, member representing Udenu State Constituency moved a motion for the nomination of the former speaker of the State Assembly, and member representing Enugu East II, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi for speakership. He highlighted on the cordial relationship existing among the three ties of government in Enugu State since Rt. Hon. Ubosi assumed the role of speakership in 2011 as the reason he wanted him to continue in that role. The motion was seconded by Hon. Iloabuchi, Member represent Nkanu West. The motion was subsequently adopted by the House and Hon. Ubosi was led in oaths of allegiance and office by the Clerk as the speaker of Enugu State 7th Assembly.
Hon. Chima Obieze, Member representing Ezeagu State Constituency moved the motion for the nomination of Hon. Engr. Ugwu Uchechukwu, member representing Udi North State Constituency for the position of deputy speaker. The motion was seconded by Hon. Paul Nnajiofo, member representing Nkanu East State Constituency and thereafter unanimously adopted by the House. The Deputy Speaker was also led in the Oaths of Allegiance and Office by the House Clerk. The speaker and deputy speaker were subsequently vested and led to their official seats in the House by their supporters.
In his acceptance speech, the speaker recognized the dignitaries present, including members of the clergy, traditional rulers and everybody who came to witness the inception of the 7th Assembly. He particularly thanked His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Executive Governor of Enugu State, their constituencies and the good people of Enugu State for electing him and his colleagues to represent them.
He assured the good people of Enugu that himself and his colleagues will not disappoint the trust reposed on them. Recounting the achievements of the former Assembly; he revealed that 49 out of the 52 bills sent to them was passed into law and promised that the 7th Assembly will even work harder to ensure that there is peace, security and prosperity in Enugu State.
Swearing-In of the Honourable Members:
After leading the 24 honourable members in Oaths of Allegiance and Office, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi announced that Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, member representing Udenu as the Leader of the House; Hon. Onyinye Ugwu, member representing Enugu South II as the Deputy Leader of the House; Rt. Hon. Mrs. Jane Eneh, member representing Awgu North as the Chief Whip of the House, while Hon. Ethel Ugwuanyi is the Deputy Chief Whip.
Commenting on how the key offices were distributed, the Speaker Rt. Hon. Ubosi observes that the State Assembly in particular and Enugu State in general is gender sensitive and will always do what is necessary to ensure that women are properly represented. He also declared that the 7th Assembly has officially begun and that the House is now ready to accept messages from their counterparts in the Executive and Judiciary.
At this point, the Leader of the House, Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu moved the motion for adjournment. However, before the motion, he took out time and congratulated his colleagues for their successes both during the elections and the oaths of office just concluded. He thanked the dignitaries and their supporters for coming and assured the good people of Enugu that the 7th Assembly will not let them down. His motion was adopted, the Assembly was adjourned.
While the people of Old Awgu were happy that they would be ably represented in the House by their illustrious sons and daughter, the ominous questions that bothered many as they dispersed the Assembly Complex was why in the spirit of fairness and equity, the Deputy Speakership did not come to the Greater Awgu? Why must the position go to Agbaja, a constituency that already has the Deputy Governor? Nobody was there to answer their questions. Maybe or may not, this question will one day be answered.