By Onos Jacobs, Asaba.
It was a show of shame at the gate to the Delta state House of Assembly yesterday as the Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya and a member of the protesting Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) threw caution to the wind and exchanged blows.
Members of the association had since the beginning of this week barricaded the Assembly complex over their unpaid renumerations.
The state chairman of the association, Comrade Emmanuel Edozien, just finished addressing members and newsmen over their when the Speaker’s convoy arrived the scene.
Edozien, who said over 12 members of the association have died in active service without due recognition by the House since 2008, wondered why the Speaker was insensitive to their plights.
Trouble however erupted when the protesters prevented the Speaker’s convoy from gaining access into the Assembly complex through the VIP gate, as a member of the association, simply identified as Buchi, said, ‘he would rather die than for the Speaker to enter his office.’
The VIP gate is situated along the popular Okpanam road in Asaba, adjacent Mariam Babangida Way and the State’s Secretariat.
At that, the Speaker alighted from his Jeep and angrily told Buchi to clear from the way or risk being manhandled.
Buchi’s refusal provoked the Speaker, who threw the first blow at him, which the former retaliated.
It took the prompt intervention of his security details and other security operatives at the Assembly complex before the Speaker realised himself and calmed down.
The Speaker had been enmeshed in impeachment controversies since last year before he narrowly escaped being removed last month over alleged high-handedness, parliamentary misconducts and bringing the House to disrepute as a result of his frequent involvement in public brawls.
Members of the House have on various occasions expressed disgust at his public image that is nothing to write home about.
All entreaties by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to prevail on some lawmakers to save him from being impeached had fallen on deaf ears.
The protest had hoodwinked the planned speedy passage of the budget proposal of over N270 billion for 2017 by Governor Okowa as the lawmakers could not sit for two days.
All efforts by our reporter to speak with Mr. Henry Ebireri for the speaker’s ang;e to the report proved futile as his mobile line was not available as at press time.