Speaker Clocks 50, Urges Peace


Proceedings at the State House of Assembly have remained adjourned since three weeks ago, but last week, the Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani celebrated his 50th birthday in a quiet manner.
The golden jubilee birthday was used as a time for reflection and to fete few friends and legislators, as a lot of good wishes trailed the occasion.
The speaker said he stands fulfilled at 50, as he is poised to put in his best in serving the state and improving the lots of his constituents.
He had earlier commended and at the same expressed appreciation to all those who had contributed to his life, career and education as he thanked God for his mercies.
Reacting to the Assembly rerun election for Port Harcourt Constituency III penultimate week, Ibani decried the violence and shooting that characterized the elections, and sued for peace.
The Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly stressed the need for politicians to conduct themselves in a peaceful and civilised manner that will engender the growth of democracy.
Recall that two weeks ago, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) organized a bye-election exercise to fill in the vacant seat of Port Harcourt Constituency III formerly occupied by the current Mayor of Port Harcourt, Victor Ihunwo.
Hon. Ihunwo had three months ago resigned his seat to contest the chairmanship position of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.
The former legislator was among those who condemned the violence that marred the bye-election. Ihunwo described the elections as “a war situation”, and blamed the opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for masterminding the shooting and ballot box snatching witnessed during the polls.
In the same vein, the PDP candidate, ChiemekaNmerukini condemned the Nigeria Police, especially the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for aiding the opposition in disrupting the peaceful conduct of the elections.
Nmerukini maintained that Port Harcourt Constituency 111 remains the stronghold of the PDP, and described the action of the APC as a desperate move to thwart the peoples choice.
The House of Assembly candidate for the PDP, while calling for the cancellation of the elections, warned that the violence was capable to disrupting democratic governance and sued for caution amongst politicians.
Former Chairman of Port Harcourt local Government Council and two time member of the House, Chief Azubuike Nmerukini said he was disappointed with the attitude of the opposition.
Nmerukini decried that the snatching of ballot boxes and shooting was undemocratic and should be eliminated from the electoral process. He called for a peaceful poll, where the people will determine who will represent them.