By Njamanze Fidel
The Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Henry Ebireri, on Friday urged journalists in the state to stop encouraging misinformation, rumors, lies and appealed to them to pay attention to facts and veracity.
“The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) did not seal up the Delta State House of Assembly. Members were never chased out by anybody. Nobody scuttled Tuesday’s sitting” he said.
Ebireri, who in a statement issued in Asaba, described the story as false, said, “Mr Speaker is a responsible leader.”
“If some journalists in Nigeria and abroad choose to go into the gutter, we will not do the same” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya on Tuesday criticized the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, Delta State Chapter for presenting incorrect information to the House.
He also advised members of PASAN to get their facts right on the special duty allowance.
“I got the information from the Clerk of the House that the workers are agitated over the removal of SDA. I called the Head of Service and commissioner of finance. They assured me that the Special Duty Allowance (SDA) has not been removed but just suspended for the purpose of verification exercise. They want to authenticate those that are entitled to it genuinely. SDA is backed by law and the only way it can be removed is when the law is amended” he said.
Speaking to workers of the assembly on Tuesday, Igbuya reminded the workers that there is only one head of service in the state.
“To say that Parliamentary workers are not under the head of service is not correct. There is only one head of service in the state. The law clearly states that the Clerk of the House is by appointment rated like the head of service. It does not remove her completely from the head of service. Secondly, you are responsible to the clerk of the house. The clerk is the administrative head of the assembly. The clerk must be respected. I urge you to channel your grievances to the clerk. It does not make administrative sense to be side tracking the clerk and rushing to the office of the speaker at every given opportunity”.
Igbuya told the workers that he understood the sentiment driving the expression of protest.
“It’s very important to strengthen conditions of service but we must have in mind the dwindling financial resources of the country, particularly Delta State.
The speaker noted that the state is experiencing financial difficulties.
Igbuya who took the opportunity to remind the workers of the fundamental purpose of the government, said it was incomprehensible that the workers could replace suspension with removal, asked for patience and understanding.
He also called on the workers to respect the clerk.
On workers outfit, the speaker queried the separation of staff of the assembly and the commission, stressing that the unnecessary division was not caused by him.
He urged the House Committee on establishment to look into the agitations of the workers and make recommendations.
He equally advised PASAN to verify their facts before acting on them.
The workers commended the speaker for the audience given them and thanked him for their Christmas gift.
In another development, prominent Urhobo political leaders under the aegis of Delta Central Good Governance Forum (DCGGF) Friday described as laughable, the story that some Urhobo sons in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are interested in the governorship seat in 2019, saying the matter should not even be discussed as it shows how petty those behind the story have become.
Rising from an emergency meeting in Sapele, the leaders advised critics of the government and paid writers to contextualize their statements before rushing to the press.
“These writers and those behind them are either ignorant of the cordial relationship existing between the top PDP leaders or have chosen to play to the gallery for pecuniary gains” the leaders said.
In a statement issued by the Spokesperson of DCGGF, Chief Maxwell Agofure, the leaders said detractors were bent on creating crisis in the state.
“It is obvious that some individuals in the state intend to expose top government functionaries to ridicule, hatred and contempt” the leaders said.
The leaders praised the Delta State House of Assembly Speaker for using his knowledge acquired through experience and education for the advancement of the state.
They also applauded Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the rapid improvement in the state’s economic fortunes. .
”We will like to inform Deltans at home and abroad that contrary to what the spoilers are saying, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Chief Igbuya are working together to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Delta State.”
Caring about the principles of fairness, justice and equity, the leaders vowed to rally round Governor Okowa and ensure his victory in 2019.
” Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is a born leader, a good listener, an achiever and a go-getter. We enjoin all the good people of Delta State to shun any act or ploy to deceive them”
“Given the present reality and projections from that reality, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa will be governor for eight years “the leaders added.