Onwusanya Sworn In As Speaker Of Delta Assembly As Ochei Resigns
HONOURABLE ONWUSANYA SAN FRANCISCO, March 18, (THEWILL) - Following the formal resignation of Rt.
) Victor Ochei as Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly this morning, the Assembly has elected Honourable Peter Onwusanya as new Speaker.
Honourable Onwusanya, representing Oshimili South Constituency is a first term assemblyman and was until his election the Deputy Majority Whip of the Assembly.
Ochei in his letter of resignation cited his personal resolve to pave way for a new leadership at the Assembly as his reason for stepping down.
In a letter addressed to the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Rt.
) Basil Ganagana, the erstwhile Speaker, stated that he hoped the new leadership will take the state and house to a higher level, having contributed his quota in that regard.
'I wish to thank all those, numerous and many who made my tour of duty a pleasant affair further.
To you my esteemed colleagues, I remain grateful for your love and camaraderie we shared while it lasted,' the Speaker wrote, according to a release from his Chief Press Secretary, Mr.
'He prayed that God in His infinite wisdom avails his successor and indeed the house of all human sagacity in the task of accentuating the core ideals of the Legislature as a partner in governance, for a better society,' the statement added.
THEWILL had previously reported exclusively that Onwusanya will succeed Ochei.
THEWILL authoritatively gathered that Ochei met on Monday night with members of the Assembly where he formally intimated them of the decision to step down.
THEWILL had previously reported that Ochei, one of the leading aspirants from Delta North Senatorial District seeking to succeed incumbent Governor, Dr.
Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2015, had informed Governor Emmanuel of his decision to step down on Saturday.
Honourable Ochei, a 3rd term assemblyman, who represents Aniocha North State Constituency, was elected Speaker of the 5th Assembly on June 06, 2011.
His robust leadership with the backing of Governor Uduaghan helped inject life into the legislative arm of government in the state and tasked administrative officers to increase productivity.
Under his leadership, the Assembly unearthed hundreds of ghost workers who had cost the state hundreds of millions of naira in wages.
Again, with the support of Governor Uduaghan, Ochei transformed the entire assembly complex into a modern edifice befitting of a legislative institution whilst also overhauling operations.
The 5th assembly under his watch passed several key legislations, including the controversial death penalty law for convicted kidnappers in the state.
Political analysts often describe the 5th assembly as 'the most vibrant State House of Assembly in Nigeria.
' His leadership also introduced remarkable firsts notably, the Annual Lecture Series of the 5th Assembly which has hosted the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt.
Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, his Deputy, Rt.
Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as well as other notable personalities with expertise in law and the legislature.
THEWILL however gathered from political watchers in Delta that these achievements and his close relations with Governor Uduaghan helped boost his political profile but also elicited anger and hatred amongst older members of the establishment in the state, who have been doggedly pressing the governor to oust him from office so as to curtail his rising influence.
THEWILL further gathered that the group found an opening recently following a crack in the relationship between them and exploited the soured relations to the fullest, according to sources.
A plot was hatched early last week and the process of collating signatures amongst assemblymen began over the weekend to impeach Ochei.
THEWILL gathered that Governor Uduaghan invited Ochei alongside two other close members of the Assembly to his residence for a meeting on Saturday where he asked Ochei to step down for the stability of the legislature as the impeachment threat was real.
Ochei performed his last official function as Speaker on Monday when he joined the Governor during the signing into law of the 2014 budget as well as the signing of three other important bills passed by the 5th Assembly.
THEWILL recalls that in his last interview with newsmen last week in Asaba, Ochei had attributed his long stay as Speaker to transparency and cordial relations with fellow assemblymen.