Signs of a frosty relationship between the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and the House of Assembly emerged on Monday.
The legislators suspended three Local Government Care-taker Committee chairmen over insecurity and alleged financial recklessness. They also summoned nine commissioners of the Governor over the state’s troubled finances.
The suspended chairmen are Cassidy Ikegbidi (Ahoada East), Ojukaye Flag-Amachree (Asari-Toru) and DerickMene (Khana).
The House also set up an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the activities of the affected chairmen.
The Assembly also summoned nine commissioners, and four heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to appear before it on Tuesday (today) by 10am to explain their roles in the economy of the state.
Those invited by the assembly are the Commissioners for Finance, Agriculture, Power, Health, Tourism, Information, Budget, Works and Transport.
The House also invited the Accountant-General, Chairmen of Board of Internal Revenue, Rivers State Assembly Service Commission and Secondary School Management Board.
This is the first time the Assembly is summoning nine aides of the state governor, ChibuikeAmaechi, to give explanation on the state’s economy and unpaid workers’ salaries.
The Assembly took the decisions at its 169th Legislative Session, following two motions presented by the Deputy Leader of the House, NnameEwor, representing Ahoada East Constituency 1.
It expressed worry that while the state government had claimed it had paid salaries of civil servants up to March, 2015, there were conflicting reports indicating that civil servants and retirees were being owed salaries as well as arrears.
Ewor, had in the motion calling for the suspension of the LGA chairmen, pointed out that insecurity and financial recklessness were common in the three local government areas.
“In these three councils, human lives have been rendered insignificant and financial frugality has been jettisoned to the waste bin. The Local Government Areas are drifting to the Hobbesion State of Nature,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker, LeyiiKwanee, who presided over the sitting, stated that their decisions were not meant to witch-hunt any individual.
Kwanee, who represents Khana Constituency II, stated that reports on the state’s economy was worrisome, and that it was imperative for the aforementioned government officers were summoned to brief the House on the matter.
Kwanee maintained: “As an arm of government, we are not out to witch-hunt the executive. But, we are out to strengthen things. You are aware the seventh Assembly is gradually coming to an end. I want to tell you that it is better started than never”.
“We have been seeing a lot of conflicting reports; the other day, the Commissioner for Information (Mrs. IbimSemenitari) was on air saying that they have been paid up to March. So, we feel very embarrassed as an arm of government”.
Kwanee described the motion on the suspension of the CTC chairmen as timely, adding that the officers should be held accountable for whatever that happened in their areas.