The main opposition party in Abia State, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has berated the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Ifeanyi Uchendu, over his comment against the Deputy Minority Leader, Chijioke Chukwu, who called on the state government to pay workers’ salaries.
The APC also called on members of the state assembly who cannot speak against the non-payment of workers salaries to resign.
The party in a statement signed by Comrade Benedict Godson, Publicity Secretary, said Chukwu, who represents Bende north, should rather be applauded for calling on the government to pay workers instead of being villified and criticized by lawmakers of the ruling party, the PDP.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the embarrassing and undemocratic comments by the Deputy Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Uchendu against a true legislator and a man of the people, Hon. Chijioke Chuckwu, for speaking the minds of Abia people.
“What offence did Hon. Chijioke Chukwu commit? He only asked the perpetually indebted PDP administration led by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu to pay his workers and pensioners to enable them enjoy the Easter Holiday as he and other politician did with their families.
“What’s wrong with such a statement or call that should even attract applause? Why must the PDP think that everybody is mad in this state? Why must workers be owed while government officials go about enjoying themselves?
“We’re also using this medium to call on those who sent the Deputy Speaker to represent them to quickly recall him, because he doesn’t know his Primary duties in the House. He’s playing politics with the welfare of Abians.
“Every legislator is sent to represent his constituency made up of Abians. You’re there to speak for Abians, not for your party, your friend or the governor! How can your people be owed salaries and you’re sleeping? Don’t you have conscience?”
He said the APC lawmaker only made a” Godly call”when he urged the governor to use the opportunity of the festive period to show love to workers in the state.
“He made it clear that the essence of Christ’s sacrifice for mankind will not be achieved if the Gov. Ikpeazu does not pay Abia workers, teachers and pensioners in the state. This is true because Abia workers never celebrated any Easter.
“So, why should the PDP see such a noble call as disruptive and destructive to the good governance of Abia State? So, in their own understanding, good governance entails starving workers to death?
“What’s happening in our state? What kind of men are we sending to represent us as legislators? As a party, we urged all those against Hon. Chuckwu’s statement to resign because they are absolutely useless in the legislative Chamber. “
He said the comment by the deputy speaker of the House which suggested he endorsed the non-payment of salaries and pensions simply because it also happens in other state, is preposterous.
“Are we normal in this part of the world? So, why can’t we experience the same developments we see elsewhere? Why can’t we see bridges and flyovers everywhere as we see elsewhere? Why can’t we pay workers as at when due as we see elsewhere? “
“As a party, we want to state it clearly that we’ll never allow any form of intimidation against any of our legislators who are saying the minds of the people!
“Never again should anybody try what the Deputy Speaker did because it’s disgraceful and extremely pathetic! What was he thinking? Is Abia House of Assembly a property of the Executive?
“Why can’t a leader who is going astray be called to order? Is the Governor bigger than the state? Can the Deputy boldly tell Abians that he is being owed? What manner of injustice is this?
“Abia APC hereby uses this medium to join our voice with the voice of Hon. Chijioke Chuckwu and call on Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu to pay Abia workers, teachers and pensioners before they all perish.”