‘National Assembly Manages Defections Well’- Ita Enang

Sen. Ita Enang
Sen. Ita Enang

Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Legislative Matters, said no leader in the National Assembly has ever declared the seat of any defected member vacant despite the fact that it is a constitutional issue.

Enang, who was a National Assemblyman for 16 years under the platform of the PDP, said: “In the National Assembly, under the leadership of David Mark, there were defections from the APC to the PDP and from the PDP to the APC. There was no declaration of any seat vacant.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today in Abuja on Tuesday, he said “Even under the leadership of distinguished Senator Saraki as President of the Senate, there were defections from APC to PDP and from PDP to APC. 14 senators defected from APC to PDP in one day. He (Saraki) managed it well.

“The same thing happened in the House of Representatives; they are managing it well.’’

Enang, who is an APC chieftain, blamed the crisis in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on the declaration of five seats of members vacant.

Recall that the five lawmakers last week had their seats declared vacant by Luke Onofiok, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, for dumping the PDP.

In reaction, the expelled lawmakers stormed the legislative chambers early Tuesday and purportedly impeached Luke and equally suspended 11 other lawmakers.

However, Enang described Onofiok’s declaration of the five legislative seats vacant as faulty, said the Speaker’s inability to manage the defection of the lawmakers snowballed into the crisis witnessed in the legislative complex.

He accused Governor Udom Emmanuel of instigating the mismanagement of the recent defection of five members of the state legislature from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The Presidential aide also said the commotion did not begin until the arrival of Governor Udom Emmanuel and his sympathisers at the hallowed chambers.

“Earlier this year, the only member of Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly elected under the platform of the APC defected to the PDP but his seat was not declared vacant.

“But when the lawmakers who were dissatisfied with the actions of the state government defected joined the APC, only then did the governor instigate that their seats should be declared vacant.

“This morning, according to events, the police did not lead anybody into the hallowed chamber of the state legislature. It only came in when the governor himself led his aides to the House of Assembly to interfere and stop proceedings and generally causing commotion there.”