Mild drama played out at Anambra State House of Assembly, Monday June 12, 2023, as the most ranking member reelected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Somtochukwu Udeze, emerged as Speaker of the 8th Assembly.
Udeze, member representing Ogbaru II Constituency for a third term, was first elected under the platform of PDP in 2015 and reelected at the 2019 and 2023 general elections under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But it was alleged that he formally dumped PDP for the State ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) about two weeks ago after a purported meeting between his fellow elected lawmakers and governor Chukwuma Soludo.
With his emergence, Ogbaru II has successfully produced two speakers of the State House of Assembly – first being the Speaker of the 5th Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mrs Chinwe Nwaebili, who incidentally was the person he replaced in the 2015 poll when she contested for Ogbaru Federal House of Representatives seat under APGA but lost out to a PDP man, Hon. Chuma Onyeama.
Other elected principal officers of the Assembly are Hon Chukwuma Okoye, a two-term APGA member representing Awka South 2, who emerged as the Deputy Speaker; and Hon. Ikenna Ofodoeme, first term APGA member representing Ekwusigo Constituency that became the Majority Leader.
In an acceptance speech, Speaker Udeze said his emergence was not a call for celebration but more works so as to help governor Soludo achieve prosperous and liveable city envisaged by his administration.
He also read lists of other principal officers endorsed by the ruling APGA which showed that other principal officers are new members, leaving out three other second term reelected APGA members – Patrick Udeoba Anambra West; Hon. Ejike Okechukwu Okoye Anaocha; and Emma Nwafor Orumba South with none.
However, sources claimed that the three would be duly compensated with juicy positions while constituting leadership committees like Chairmen of Appropriation bill, Public Accounts and Petitions, House Services, among others.
Governor Soludo who inaugurated the 8th Assembly also assured them of robust and cordial relationship between the two arms of the government with a view to deliver on his mandate for Anambra populace.