BENUE INAUGURATE SEVENTH ASSEMBLY AS NEW SPEAKER EMERGES

Posted: July 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

The sixth assembly held her valedictory session last week and
subsequently the seventh assembly was inaugurated by the State
Governor, Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswam. The New Assembly which is made of
28 members has 20 from the ruling Party (PDP) and 8 from the Action
Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
The inauguration which was held under the watchful eyes of security
agents, witnessed a mammoth gathering of supporters and well wishers
from all over the state thronged in their numbers to show solidarity
with the elected members.
Inaugurating the members, Gov. Suswam sued for unity among them. He
enjoined the opposition to be constructive in their opposition.
“I solicit the support of the ACN members in the house as we are
willing to carry them along. I call you to join me in building the
Benue of our dreams …they did not elect you her to come and fight, in
spite of the differences we have let us not engage in unnecessary
opposition but work together to build a better Benue State”. He
cautioned.
The Election of principal officers of the assembly conducted by the
clerk of the house, Dr. Emmanuel Agema, immediately after the
governor’s proclamation, saw the ascension of Rt. Hon. Terhemen Tarzor
of Makurdi North Constituency to the position of speaker of the
Assembly and Dr. Stephen Omenje, of Ado state constituency, as Deputy
Speaker respectively. The duo, who was elected in a no-contest
election, had already been touted as the next occupants of these
positions.
In his acceptance speech the newly elected speaker Hon. Tarzor, flayed
the fears of the members of opposition party (ACN) in the assembly, as
according to him, major decisions taken by the house would also
consider their views and interests. He therefore, promised Benue
people and the state executive not to abuse the leadership entrusted
on him
On his part, Dr. Stephen Omenje, also thanked the house for
considering him worthy to serve in the capacity as the Deputy Speaker
of the house.
Tarzor’s rise to that seat was part of the plot of the state governor
to have an air tight assembly which will facilitate easy passage of
his bills, owing to the number of opposition ACN members in the
assembly. A source close to the newly elected speaker told national
accord that the constitution of the house leadership had been done the
night prior to the inauguration of the assembly, at meeting hosted by
the governor’s elder brother, Dr. Terkura Suswam.
Hon. Tarzor, the immediate past Majority Chief Whip of the Assembly,
was favored by the zoning system which zones the speakership of the
Assembly to the Benue-North East constituency; fortunately the
constituency is dominated by the ACN. He had many times been paraded
by associates of the governor as the next speaker of the parliament as
was seen always tugging at the garments of the state governor.

Other elected officers of the house include;
Hon. Paul Biam (PDP) – Majority Leader
Hon. Christopher Afaor (PDP) – Majority Chief Whip
Hon. Gbileve Adugu (ACN)-Minority Leader
Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange (ACN)- Minority Chief Whip
Meanwhile, the Assembly, which is supposed to have 30 members, has
only 28 at the moment recalling that the election which was suspended
by the court in one of the constituencies (OJU) will be conducted in
subsequent weeks. The Assembly was adjourned to resume sitting June,
14 2011.
In an earlier development, Gov. Suswam at a state PDP caucus meeting
directed that each Local Governments should nominate candidates for
appointment as commissioners in the next cabinet, the nomination is
however not an express guarantee for appointment as changes could be
effected where and when necessary.

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