Senate Minority Leader Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has described as undemocratic the suspension of some Imo State House of Assembly members.
Recall that last week Tuesday, the state assembly had suspended the minority leader, Anyadike Nwosu, and five other lawmakers.
In an emergency plenary held under tight security, the speaker suspended the lawmakers indefinitely for what he called “unparliamentary conduct”.
Apart from the minority leader, who is of the Peoples Democratic Party, other lawmakers suspended by the speaker were: the immediate past majority leader, Uche Ogbuagu,(Ikeduru, APC), Onyemaechi Njoku(Ihitte- Uboma, APC), Kennedy Ibeh,(Obowo, APC), Philip Ejiogu,( Owerri North, PDP) and Dominic Ezerioha (Oru West, APC).
Reacting to the development, Senator Abaribe in a statement on Monday by his media aide, Uchenna Awom, condemned the suspension of the six lawmakers.
Abaribe opined that the six members were suspended in a manner that “strongly suggested circumvention of democratic ethos.”
The Senator, however, urged state assemblies not to see minority leaders and opposition party members are seen as enemies.
He added that it was wrong for opposition elements and leaders to be hounded in the discharge of their statutory and democratic functions of clear oversight on the executive.
The statement reads: “The beauty of democracy was embedded in the principle of checks and balances, accommodation of all shades of opinion and allowing free canvassing of viewpoints in the constitution.
“Democracy does not stop at the national level. It must permeate all levels of government i.e, wards, local governments, state and other democratic institutions. In all of these, everybody must enjoy freedom of expression and association as guaranteed by our constitution.
“So, it is undemocratic and smirks of dictatorship, any attempt by anybody, particularly a parliament for that matter to abhor minority functions and stifle opposition voices, just because you want to pander to executive whims.”