The Speaker and his 26-member faction expressed their dismay over the burning of the assembly chamber.
The Rivers State House of Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker Martins Amaewule, has condemned the recent attack on the state legislature, describing it as a threat to the constitutional duties of the assembly.
During the 83rd legislative session, the Speaker and his 26-member faction expressed their dismay over the burning of the assembly chamber, which occurred during a plenary session on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.
The members asserted that this act was aimed at hindering the legislature from fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities.
Addressing the assembly, Speaker Amaewule declared, “Members of the legislature are representatives of the people, but currently in Rivers, there is a problem because the legislature is under attack by some individuals who do not want it to perform its constitutional roles. Whenever the legislature is under attack, the state or nation is under attack too.”
The assembly members collectively called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of those identified to be involved in the arson, stating the need to preserve the integrity and functioning of the legislative body.
In a significant move to fortify the autonomy of the State House of Assembly, the assembly also made a first reading on the State House of Assembly Funds Management (Financial Autonomy) Bill, 2023. Sponsored by 27 members, including Speaker Amaewule, the bill was presented on the floor by Enemi George ofPDP – Asari Toru II.
Explaining the objectives of the bill, George highlighted that it aimed to regulate the management of funds allocated to the assembly from the consolidated revenue fund of the state. The measure, he emphasised, is designed to ensure transparency, accountability, and efficient utilisation of funds, among other related matters.
George further stressed that the passage of this bill would not only enhance the independence of the legislature but also foster accountability and efficient utilization of funds, contributing to the overall development of the state.
The Rivers State Assembly has been grappling with internal divisions since the crisis erupted on October 30, leading to the unfortunate burning of the hallowed chamber.
This incident resulted in the emergence of two factions, with Speaker Amaewule leading 26 members, while Edison Ehie (PDP-Ahoada 11) is leading four members as a separate speaker.