In 2011 when the seventh Benue State House of Assembly began functioning as the watchdog of the executive it was received with so great joy steming from the expectations from the people owing to the beieved vibrance. The constitution of this peculiar assembly had in its composition, youthful, educated, out spoken and militant legislators who it was believed will hold its ground any day, anywhere; this is coupled with the large number of opposition content which seemed to blend so well with the ruling party’s.
Soon as the Assembly took off came the activism expected by the public. At their orientation retreat organised by the State government which held at the Obudu cattle ranch in Cross River state, the lawmakers boldly staged a walkout on the state governor, just as he was about to declare the retreat open. This incident which became an issue of sensation amongst the people as they believed the vibrant factor needed in a legislative assembly was begining to show unfortunately, this jubilation was meant to be short lived as news and information gathered revealed that the assembly members did not stage the walkout for developmental reasons but for pecuinary reasons. It was discovered that the assembly members had demanded that the state governor gave each one of them Toyota Prado Jeeps as official cars, an offer whose refusal provoked the walk out.
In as much as the Obudu incident would have dented the assembly’s image before the public, it also brought them some level endearment as it showed that they possesed the grit and tenacity to check the executive’s excesses. Unfortunately, not too long after this episode came the removal of the Speaker, Hon. Terhemen Tarzoor, who lost his seat after a protracted legal tussle but all hope was not seen to be lost as his challenger who replaced him had a history of opposition and it was then believed that his injection would not only add to the opposition numbers but also his tenacity add strenghth to the vibrance of the whole.
As expected, whithin months of the new speaker’s ascension came another show of strenghth by the assembly. This time coming from the opposition camp who had began facing criticism from their elements in the public. The opposition had risen to demand that the position of minority chief whip be made for the opposition, a presentation that did not go down well with the majority which came from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as a result of this denial, the members who were drawn from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), staged a walk out reminiscent of the Obudu saga as this also ended in futility.
Then came what many term as the biggest test of the assembly; sometime last year came an outburst from the state commissioner of information, Engr. Conrad Wergba acusing  the assembly who had raised an issue of non payment of workers and even salaries of members of the assembly, of arm twisting the excutive to some unmentioned,pecuinary gains. When this came up the public geared up to watch real action as the assembly whic was blowing on all cylinders, had summoned the fire spitting government spokesman and the state commissioner for finance Dr. Omadachi Oklobia.
This drama was hightened by Wergba’s refusal to honour the summon until according to feelers was adviced to make himself available by his boss the state governor. The session which the commissioner attended, became the climax of the drama where after gruelling hours of impressive debate and chastism by members of the assembly, an appology was retracted from the commissioner but the assembly was not done yet as they further demanded Wergba’s head on a tray like the biblical John the baptist.
This request which was backed up by an ultimatum of fourteen days, was about the best publicity stunt for the assembly which had earned the public nickname of “rubber stamp assembly”, as this threat of sack on Wergba’s head seemed the proof of vibrancy. Alas! the ultimatum elapsed and it seemed some quiet had descended on the state as everyone in the state expected to see the last of this drama, unfortunately this was never to be as the issue died down without any form of face off or further action to enforce their demand. This according to unconfirmed sources is credited to money changing hands between the assembly members and Wergba at a midnight meeting two days after the ultimatum elapsed.
But the assembly struck again in a seemingly face saving action which though was also done out of what is largely believed to be selfish. They then unanimously moved for the impeachment of the speaker of the assembly, Bar. David Iorhemba, a legislator known to be the governor’s former class mate and right hand man, for alleged finacial misapropriation and embezzlement. This was a removal which was without a drama of its own as thugs said to be under the employ of Iorhemba deployed to “deal with the members into shape”.
Iorhemba’s removal sure bought the assembly some amount of trust and commendation as they were seen to be finding their way back to the ideals of a watch dog. While the assembly went without a speaker, members absconded from the state and all converged in Nassarawa state where they met regularly to startegise and present a new leader independent of outside and legislative influence. It was a move commended by the general public as they brought forth the third successive speaker for the seventh assembly, Bar. Terhile Ayua, devoid of external influence.
With Ayua in the saddle, there was a smooth assembly, cooperative with the executive, devoid of uneccessary cohesion. Until recently, the Benue state governor, Rt. Hon. Gabriel Suswam, decided to make a few changes in the hands that manned the ministries under his administration. Gov. Suswam then relieved eleven commissioners of their responsibilities but in a sudden twist of events he submitted a list of new nominees to the assembly for approval as commissioners. This list included seven out of the erstwhile sacked commissioners, which was met with a high amount of public criticism as a couple of them were deemed incompetent and even fraudulent, thus petitions came flying into the assembly against such commissioners amongst whom were, Dr. Elizabeth Ugoh, the former commissioner for Education, who was accused of underperformance and high handedness; Dr. Orduen Abunku, whose medical practice certificate was claimed to have been witheld far away Ohio in the United states of America, he,had,served as commissioner for health in the dissolved cabinet also accused of fraud was Dr. Eugene Aliegba, a former commissioner for Agriculture, who had once faced the state assembly for drawing double salaries from government coffers as commissioner and staff of the state university.
Amidst these peitions the state assembly which was believed by members of the public to be weak, screened the new proposed commissiners refusing to  attend the returnee commissioners who had their resumes tainted by the percieved bad eggs amongst them. This decision was welcomed by a suprised public who expected an express nod to these nominees.
Unfortunately their joy has been shortlived as the assembly which set up a committee to investigate the petitions before screening the lot, turned around and exonerated the accused commissioners and screening them with all of them even the accused getting approvals.
while the public is yet to unravel the mystery behind the recent sharp turn in the  assembly’s decision, Gov. Suswam has already sworn in his cabjnet but the benue public is yet to see the vibrant edge believed to be hidden somewhere in Benue’s assembly with the highest number of opposition content.

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