Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, has condemned the development in Rivers State House of Assembly, where the minority leader of the House was elected by the ruling party.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by his Spokesperson, Mr. Parry Saroh Benson, Abe said that the practice world over was for the minority party caucus to elect the minority leader.
The statement said it was wrong for the ruling party to decide minority positions in the legislature and attributed it to a parochial interest, where some people want to control the voice of opposition in order to ensure that there was no alternative view in the Assembly.
“What is happening in Rivers state today is that some people have decided to control everything; have decided to stifle the voice of the opposition; have decided that Rivers state should not have an alternative view and so they are doing everything possible to make sure that no alternative view is heard officially in the State”.
The statement further condemned a misleading statement credit to Hon. Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja, where he alleged that PDP members voted for him (Abe) to become the minority leader on the floor of the House, pointing out that nothing could be far from the truth.
It stated that in 1999, when he (Senator Abe) was the minority leader of Rivers State House of Assembly; that the minority caucus of the All Peoples Party (APP) elected and presented him as the Minority Leader.
In the statement, Senator Abe said that he contested the minority leadership position with Hon. John Bazia and others, adding that at the end, Hon. Odum Azubuike was elected also as the Deputy Minority Leader.
The same was applied, the statement said, on all minority officers of the House.
“I was elected Minority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly at a caucus of the All Peoples Party (APP), the minority party at the time, in the presence of all leaders of the party such as Chief Emma Anyanwu, Chief Ebenezer Isokariari and other leaders of APP.”
The statement added that the outcome of the caucus election was conveyed to the clerk of the House of Assembly and to the Speaker, pointing out that nobody in PDP had a hand in his emergence as the minority leader of the House.