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Published On: Wed, Jul 9th, 2014

Identification cards: We owe you no apology, Senate tells Okorocha

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

Senate has declared that it owes no apology to the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, with regards to the last week Senate condemnation of his proposed registration and issuance of identification cards to northerners residing in the state as a way of checking Boko Haram attack.

It will be recalled that Okorocha, over the weekend, had demanded an open apology from the Senate over accusation of registering Northerners in the state.

Okorocha said the involvement of the Senate amounts to blackmail of his government.

But the Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi (PDP Bauchi Central), at the resumed plenary on Tuesday, drew the attention of his colleagues to a newspaper publication where an aide of the governor confirmed that the project had commenced.

He said the governor’s aide granted an interview to a tabloid based in the northern part of the country, where he stated that the screening of all Northerners residing in Imo State had started.

He said the governor’s aide explained that each of the northerne rs there would be duly registered to know their trade, residence and location and that they would be confirmed by the head of their trade union before they would be issued a card.

According to Ningi, the Okorocha’s aide further claimed that all the northerners would be fully documented and that they should stop entering the state with their trucks by night.

Ningi further stated that the Imo state government had been employing media strategy to create an impression that the residence card project was an agenda initiated by the northern elders in the state.

Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary said the senate would not subject the point of order raised by the senator to debate because the issue was adequately debated last week and that the senate verdict on the issue was final.

Reacting to the apology demanded by Okorocha, Ekweremadu said the governor had the opportunity to brief senators from his state on the matter when the matter was first raised on Tuesday last week and eventually debated upon on Thursday, but kept silent.

He also ruled out insinuations that the Senate was prosecuting Okorocha by its resolution of last week as part of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agenda, stressing that lawmakers from opposition political parties participated actively in the debate and voted on the motion.

At the weekend, Okorocha had, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo, taken exception to what transpired in the Senate last week Thursday.

According to him, “The distinguished senators engaged in wild goose chase by allowing themselves to be deceived into deliberating and having resolutions on a matter that does not exist in Imo State”.


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