Friday, 24 June 2016

Kogi Assembly Crisis: Feuding Factions Reconcile

Indications yesterday emerged that the crisis rocking the Kogi State House of Assembly, might be over soon as the feuding factions agreed on templates for reconciliation with factional leaders of the assembly including speakers expected to vacate their positions.

Kogi-Assembly This was the fallout of a reconciliation meeting that started Wednesday on the auspices of a self appointed 11-man Peace Committee headed by Nihi Oladele of the ‘Peace Ambassador’ group.

Though details of the terms of agreement were not made public, the meeting is expected to continue today, as the factions otherwise known as G5 and G15 groups, met for about four hours at the Government House. The meeting which had in attendance Governor Yahaya Bello, Deputy Governor Simon Achuba, Chief of staff , Edward Onoja, Special Adviser to the governor on Legislative and Assembly Matters, Yusuf Haruna; some commissioners and all the 23 Assembly members apart from G5 Factional Majority Leader, Friday Makama; was held behind closed-doors. However, the Speaker of the G15 group, left the meeting frowning and did not participate in the group photograph at the end of the day.

Speaking with newsmen after the four hours meeting, Leader of the reconciliatory group, Nihi Oladele said, “The crisis degenerated to the level that the good image of the state was being battered, with elders of the state not showing interest at reconciling the warring factions, hence the youths stepped in to do the reconciliation.” Speaking, the governor said he still believed there was no crisis in the assembly, saying what happened was a misunderstanding, expressing satisfaction that the members had decided to mend fences.

Spokesman of the G15, Mathew Kolawole who spoke after the meeting said the two factions had agreed on some templates for the total resolution of the crisis, insisting however that there was nothing that was permanent. Though the two groups did not divulge the templates, but Vanguard gathered that part of the templates are for both the embattled speaker, MomohJimoh Lawal and Factional Speaker, Umar Imam, to lose their Speakership positions along with other principal officials in the new arrangement. According to the source, the G5 will produce the Speaker while the G15 group will produce the remaining six principal officials. “The only fraction in the new template is the body language of the governor who still wishes Umar Imam continues as Speaker while the other legislators are pushing for a neutral person. Also, the Majority leader of the G5 who has been the anchor man of the group does not want to lose his position. His absence at today’s meeting give credence to this assumption”, the source added.

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