Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba
A civil society group, Coalition For Abia Unity, CAU, has berated the Speaker and leadership of the 8th Abia State House of Assembly over what it described as inglorious attempts to gag the press and the good people of the state, as well as stifle opposition voices, warning that no amount of cajoling and or outright intimidation will confer legitimacy on all the anti-people and anti-democratic steps so far taken by them since their inauguration some weeks back.
The group’s warning is coming on the heels of the slamming of a 14-day suspension on the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, caucus leader in the House Hon. Solomon Akpulonu on Tuesday July 18 by the Labour Party, LP, leadership of the Assembly, citing insubordination and granting of press interviews as reasons.
NewsCritic online reports that the House leadership had penultimate week, issued a directive banning members from speaking to the press without clearance, a move which has since drawn the ire of not a few.
In an exclusive interview with NewsCritic online on Wednesday July 19, 2023 in Aba the CAU Chairman Chief Uzo Chukwu, noted that the decision of the Abia State House of Assembly leadership tantamount to an open declaration of war on the press and press freedom, adding that dictatorship and misgovernance will ultimately trail a successful attempt at suppressing dissenting voices.
The group condemned the ongoing attempts at usurping the natural and constitutional rights and privileges of the opposition parties in the state by the LP led State government, warning that a continued recourse to such undemocratic and unconstitutional paths will only succeed in breeding anarchy and break down of law and order in the state.
“We as a group that staked so much to herald the present arrangements in the governance space of Abia want to use this opportunity to express our worries over developments at the Abia State House of Assembly in particular, and the state in general.
The relentless bid by LP to appropriate its privileges and rights alongside those of other political parties is totally unacceptable and condemnable.
It is the considered position of CAU that LP resort to being at once the minority and majority party in the legislative house is alien and offensive to the tenets of democracy and spirits and letters of the Nigerian constitution and the law of natural justice.
Even in all the years of the much-vilified PDP administrations, at least Abians were spared such gory sights and sounds that have been unfolding in the governance space of the state in the past few weeks,” Chief Chukwu stated.
The CAU there fore called on the LP government in the state and the leadership of the legislative body to quickly retrace their steps and allow democracy and good governance to thrive in the state, adding however that the people and the press should resist any ploy to gag them.