The Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji MNSE, has said that the demands by Aba North Traditional Council over political marginalization of Aba North Indigenes were legitimate.
The Speaker made this known when he received in audience the Aba North Traditional Rulers in his office at the Abia State House of Assembly on Tuesday.
The delegation of traditional rulers led by Eze Love Nwogu, Chairman, Aba North Traditional Rulers Council alongside Eze Dr I. O Ikonne, said they were at the office of the Speaker to find a legislative solution to Aba North Sociocultural and political challenges.
The Secretary of the Council who read the communiqué signed by all the Traditional Rulers in Aba North in his Speech pleaded with the 7th Abia State House of Assembly to repeal enabling laws that took away the management of Markets from the Local Government Areas.
“All the Local Governments in Nigeria manage their market except in Aba where Ariaria Market is managed by an outsider.
“We demand that justice be done in this area; we demand that this Law be repealed so that Ariaria International Market will be returned to its owners.
“We have qualified people to be appointed Chairman of Aba North Local Government Area but currently we are being ruled by visitors”
The Speaker in his Response, said he will collaborate with the Lawmaker representing Aba North State Constituency, Hon Aaron Uzodike, to find a Legislative solution to the control of markets in Aba.
“You know before the last administration, it was worse, Aba was regarded as a no man’s land even though a lot of our people are there doing business.
“We are not saying that a visitor in someone’s house won’t be recognized, and that is why during the Ochendo administration, a Ngwa man was appointed as Chairman of Aba North and South Local Government Areas respectively.
“Every visitor in Aba should do his business very well, but there are certain things they should remove their minds from.
“And when you look at it, it is the visitors that are most vocal in the politics of Aba North and South and you ask yourself where are the indigenes?”
The Speaker further assured the Traditional Rulers that the Abia State House of Assembly will look into the enabling Laws concerning the management of markets in the State.
The Speaker agreed that the control of markets by the Local Government Areas will help increase their revenue which they can then deploy to serve the people at the grassroots.
On the issue of appointment of Permanent Secretaries, the Speaker advised the Traditional Rulers to always recommend the most Senior Civil Servant for such appointment rather than recommending a junior staff for such offices.
He emphasised that the work of the Abia State House of Assembly is to compliment the efforts of the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.
“I owe you people the continued support to the administration of Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu. He is our Governor and therefore deserves all efforts and collaboration to succeed.
“Our duty includes making good laws and does oversight on the Executive,” he said.
The Traditional Rulers appreciated the Speaker for granting them an audience and prayed for the success of 7th Abia State House of Assembly under his Leadership.