The Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Tonye Harry has threatened to sack the chairman of Degema Lcoal Government Council, Hon Abiye Davies if he fails to pay the severance benefits owed past political office holders in the area within one month.
The speaker made the threat Tuesday when the 23 local government council chairmen appeared before the House to give account of their indebtness to past political office holders in their respective areas.
Hon Harry, who registered his anger over the Degema council boss for failing to pay the severance benefits berated the chairman, describing him as disobedient to pay the past political office holders.
According to Harry, the refusal to heed the assembly directive was an impeachable offence.
If it were in the advanced countries, I would have been impeached on this neglect. How can I sit here to preside over other peoples matter when my chairman has not paid even a kobo. What locus standi do I have to direct others, the speaker asked rhetorically.
Let the people bear me witness. This is the last time I would discuss this matter. When this matter comes up here again, I will suspend you, if you don’t pay this money within next month (April),” Harry concluded.
Meanwhile, during the appearance of the 23 council chairmen, some of the lawmakers who spoke, described the flagrant refusal of the council chairmen to pay the money as directed by the House as disobedience to constituted authorities.
The lawmakers noted that some of the past political office holders had died while waiting for the release of the money and urged the House to direct the House Committee on Local Government Affairs to furnish the House with a comprehensive report on the matter.
While ruling on the matter the speaker directed the House committee on local government to submit full report on the matter so that the House could dispose of the matter.
He assured past political office holders in the 23 local government area, to be patient with the lawmakers, adding that a sigh of relief would come their way soon.