……As Journalists Protest
Journalists numbering over fifty on Thursday verbally protested against the Delta state house of Assembly new speaker, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori for stopping them from asking him questions during a press briefing to commemorate the second anniversary of the 6th Assembly which took place at the Assembly press centre, Asaba.
HardReporters National Assembly correspondent who was in the state House of Assembly complex for a different purpose and gate crashed into the briefing reports that, the speaker, Mr. Oborevwori, received from the Journalists what he did not bargained for after turning down agitations by Journalists to ask him more questions.
The speaker, after delivering his speech, took questions from not more than five Journalists and vehemently refused to entertain any further question from the Journalists, and this did not go down well with the Journalists, thereby forcing them into verbal protest against the speaker.
The visibly diffident speaker who was in a hurry to end the event to evade the Journalists bombarding and critical questions, rudely discarded an appeal made by the new chairman, Delta state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Mr. Mike Ekeogwu, for more questions to be asked since the press briefing was called at the instance of Journalists in the state.
All efforts to persuade the speaker who was flanked by the deputy speaker, Mr. Friday Osanebi, majority leader, Mr. Tim Owhefere, and other members of the Assembly fell on deaf ears as the speaker insisted that the program should end.
Digging into the reasons behind the speaker’s action, HardReporters reliably gathered that following the inability of the speaker to express himself fluently and eloquently forced him to device such means to save himself of any embarrassment from the Journalists.
Mr. Oborevwori, at a time, demonstrated leadership without decorum and human sympathy while responding to the issue of the house of Assembly aides who have been denied payment of their two years furniture allowance, saying that the lawmakers are not answerable to any one as such if their aides have not been paid, its nobody cup of tea.
“If they have not been paid what is your business, are they your aides, they are our aides and whatever we do to them is non of your business.” Oborevwori said, without any atom of remorse for the aides who have not been paid their furniture allowance for over two years now.
Speaking, with our corresponds, a house of Assembly staff who pleaded for anonymity described the lawmakers as “Ali Baba and the twenty nine Thieves, 29 armed robbers” who specialises in looting the Assembly treasury without minding who ox is gored.
Meanwhile, earlier in his speech, the speaker, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori, assured Deltans to be rest assured as members, now united more than ever to take on the task ahead as well as making good laws for the good governance of the state. The speaker disclosed for the first time, that the impeachment of the former speaker of the house of Assembly, Mr. Monday Igbuya, could have been avoided.
“We are determined more than ever to improve on our performance as we enter into the third legislative year. In the next parliamentary years, the House will ensure that it retains its focus. It will engage in deliberations and matters that would improve the fortune of Deltans. I want to state here that as an arm of Government, the House has undergone some challenges. But by God’s grace, we have scaled the hurdles.
“Despite the May 11, 2017 unavoidable change in the leadership of the House, As members of the Sixth Assembly, we will continue to keep faith with our duties of law making aimed at promoting order and good governance in Delta State. It is in pursuant of our role as lawmakers and representatives of our people, I wish to place on record that the Sixth Assembly has performed credibly well by all standards.
“Let me start by appreciating your role as members of the fourth estate of the realm in promoting the activities and deliberations of the House. The role of the press in a democratic dispensation cannot be over emphasized; that is why the legislative arm of government holds the media in a very high esteem. I want to express our gratitude to the media for their coverage of the activities of the House.
“It is in pursuant of our role as lawmakers and representatives of our people, I wish to place on record that the Sixth Assembly has performed credibly well by all standards. I now present our score card during the period under review: The House received a total of thirty four (34) bills, of which, ten were Executive and twenty four were Private Member Bills. A total of Twelve Bills have been assented to Six Bills are awaiting assent; and Seventeen Bills are at committee stage.” the speaker said.