Enemi Alabo George, one of the members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), has expressed concern that the demolition of the House of Assembly complex by the state government has resulted in the loss of important historical information, records, and archives.
Alabo-George, the Chairman of the House Committee on Informational, described Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s government’s action as the height of irresponsibility and stated that there was no need to destroy the entire complex when the explosion that rocked the complex only affected the hallowed chamber.
He bemoaned the fact that staff and legislators were not permitted to remove their personal belongings and documentation before the destruction started.
In an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday afternoon, he said: “I came to Abuja for a meeting yesterday (Tuesday) and I was supposed to go back to Port Harcourt this morning when I heard the news. It’s a sad, unfortunate, and interesting day to be alive; that we would wake up to see many years of hard work, history and works of our forebears and predecessors brought down in one fell swoop.
“Our documents, files, archives, and the entire signature of the Rivers State House of Assembly, built from the fourth Assembly till date, were brought down for nothing. But I think history will judge everyone. I’m not talking about personal items and stuff we had in our offices.
“When I came here (to the Assembly), I learnt the job through documents, files, and archives I saw in the library and other things. Everything that represents the history and image of the House of Assembly from the first Assembly to date has just been brought down, and it’s something very difficult to explain. I’m as shocked as people are.”
When asked why he didn’t buy the state government’s explanation that the building’s structural integrity was compromised following the explosion that shook the area a few weeks prior, Alabo-George responded, “The Rivers State House of Assembly building, before it was brought down today, was the best House of Assembly building in Nigeria. It was the finest and the best planned.
“The fire happened in the hallowed chamber of the House of Assembly, and that was why we moved to another auditorium. The complex is massive, but everyone knows what the issues are.
“If you want to demolish the official building that houses the House of Assembly, you would give notices, allow us to move out our stuff, and documents, and the House has to approve it. The executive cannot move in one day to demolish the House of Assembly without the approval of the House and let us plan where to move to.
“You don’t wake up one day and lead bulldozers into the complex and bring it down with everything inside. It is difficult to explain; because of one man’s ego. This is the height of recklessness and lawlessness.”
He said Martin Amaewhule remained the Speaker of the Assembly, backed by a subsisting court order, and that nothing had changed. “He remains the speaker and whatever that (ex parte order) was is void. The court allows the Assembly to carry out our functions unfettered and unhindered. So, all that has been done is void.”
He explained further that it was laughable that their seats were declared vacant by the Speaker, Edison Ehie, who is recognized by Tuesday’s court order.
He stated: “It’s funny. We have the constitution and everything we have done was in accordance with the dictates of the constitution. Section 109 (1)(g) is clear, that if there is a division in my party, I can move to another party, and that is what we have done. Whatever those four people, the Speaker inclusive, do does not have the legal power. So, it’s not an issue and we are not bothered.”
He said even though Wike remained their mentor and leader, he had no hand in their defection to the APC.
He promised that the Assembly would not submit to the executive branch’s suppression.