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Kogi Assembly Speaker resigns ‘to save my life’

By Boluwaji Obahopo

LOKOJA—The crises rocking Kogi State House of Assembly took a new dimension yesterday, as, unexpectedly, the Speaker, Umar Ahmed, resigned his position.

Umar Imam

Umar Imam

Ahmed’s resignation came exactly a week after the 25-member House passed a vote of confidence on him and less than 48 hours after the Assembly was invaded by hoodlums that disrupted plenary.

His letter of resignation was read by the Deputy Speaker, Hassan Abdullahi, who presided over plenary, which later elected Majority Leader, Kolawole Matthew, as the new Speaker, unopposed.

Also, former Chief Whip, Hassan Bello, was elected Majority Leader, while Wale Omofaiye was elected as the new Chief Whip unopposed.

The House has been embroiled in crises, with the executive arm alleged to be plotting the removal of Umar Ahmed as Speaker, culminating in the last Tuesday’s invasion of the Assembly by hoodlums.

The session, which was attended by 20 out of the 25 members, also saw the retention of Hassan Abdullahi (Dekina/Okura constituency) as Deputy Speaker, even as the sitting was held under tight security.

I resigned to save my lifeAhmed

The ex-Speaker, Ahmed, in the letter dated August 3, said he decided to throw in the towel to avert plunging the state into another round of crises and to save his life, which has been under intense death threat.

In his acceptance speech, the new Speaker, Kolawole, expressed gratitude to the members for reposing confidence in him, promising to do his best to take the assembly to enviable heights.

Vanguard, however, gathered that it took the intervention of Senator Smart Adeyemi, who brokered peace between the Assembly and the executive to ensure the “amicable” resolution, prompting members of the House, which had initially adjourned indefinitely, to swallow their pride and call for a sitting 24 hours after the hoodlums’ invasion.

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