It has emerged that more than 50 per cent of the 11 lawmakers of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the Abia State House of Assembly actually backed the removal of the Minority Leader, Hon Abraham Oba.
He had led his opposition members to recant their approval of the state government’s N30 billion loan deal thereby incurring the wrath of the majority PDP members and most of his fellow APGA lawmakers, who allegedly “ganged up” against the Minority Leader.
THISDAY gathered that six members of the opposition APGA actually signed and moved the motion that led to the removal of their leader in the House. The Minority Leader, who represents Aba Central state constituency, aside from losing his position, was also clamped into “indefinite suspension” by his fellow lawmakers.
Hon. Oba was removed from his position as Minority Leader on Tuesday following an “abusive press conference” he led his APGA lawmakers to address during which they repudiated their earlier backing for the state government’s plan to take N30 billion from commercial banks.
His loss has become the gain of the member representing Umunneochi state constituency, Hon Ikedi Ezekwesiri, who was immediately appointed as replacement for the sacked Minority Leader.
From where he is nursing his wounds, the former Minority Leader refused to speak on the fate that had befallen him and rather directed journalists to seek reaction from his party when contacted on his mobile phone.
Expectedly APGA has risen in defence of Hon Oba, saying that he did nothing wrong to deserve the inglorious manner in which he was removed from office.
State secretary of APGA, Sunday Onukwubiri, told journalists on phone that it was “unfortunate” the way members of Abia legislature handled the issue of the dissenting voice expressed by APGA lawmakers over the planned loan.
He said that what the former Minority Leader did was merely to address the press in order “to inform the public on what is happening in the House” and therefore did not deserve any punishment.
The loan deal, which had already received the endorsement of the state lawmakers, ran into troubled waters when APGA lawmakers recanted, saying that they were deceived into endorsing the loan by the Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Martins Azubuike.