. How Bipi Read Acceptance Speech in the Presence of 2 Lawmakers
Weeks after the imbroglio that culminated in the forced vacation for all members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, missing links are still being provided as to what transpired on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. A new video posted on Youtube has again shed some more light on the Rivers issue. Before now, two videos had gone viral, one in which Hon Chidi Lloyd and some members stormed the chamber with Hon Michael Chinda being at the receiving end of several knocks from the mace which Lloyd converted into a weapon.
The second video clip was the one in which the “new Speaker”, Hon Evans Bipi was seen at the entrance of the Hose of Assembly chamber protesting that the Governor came and “supervised” the beating of his colleagues.
In the new video, which chronicles some of the events of that fateful day, Hon Martin Amaehule was shown moving the motion for the impeachment of Hon Amachree, the Speaker of the House. It was evident from the video that Amaehule moved for impeachment in a chamber that was nearly empty as all the seats behind him were vacant. The impeachment procedure was moderated by Hon Victor Ihunyo.
The video clip also showed the Majority Leader of the House of Assembly, Chidi Lloyd appearing just as Hon Bipi’s hand was raised up by the moderator and he was about to sit down to read his acceptance speech. The Honourables ran as Lloyd took the mace and used it as a weapon, dispersing the anti-Amaechi lawmakers.
The next scene was the reappearance of Honourable Bipi with a number of escorts after the fracas. He went straight into the chamber, walked towards the Speaker’s seat and he appeared to be searching for something. He looked at the floor and checked his pockets. One of the members asked if he was searching for his phone. “No, its acceptance speech”, Bipi replied. While the search was on, Hon Kelechi Nwogu walked in briskly and announced “Victor, ngwa, ngwa osi bia, ngwa ngwa” (Victor, be fast they are coming). Honourables Nwogu, Bipi and Ihunyo stood and conversed for some time apparently rehearsing a new speech, with ihunyo telling Bipi to “thank the people of Rivers State”.
A piece of paper was handed over to Hon Ihunyo by Hon Bipi and all was soon set for the speech which was delivered in the presence of two lawmakers. The mace was set and the camera crews got ready as Honourables Nwogu and Ihunyo supervised the recording. Ihunyo who appeared to have drafted the new speech as he was seen holding a pen called out, “Mr Speaker, are you ready?”
As the cameras rolled, Bipi read, “my dear colleagues, distinguished members at the gallery, I thank you for electing me this day as the new Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. 15 members have been suspended. The names will be given to you later”. After the speech, the mace was taken by the Sergeant-at-arms, and borne in front of an obviously elated Bipi who waved to no one in particular and smiled as he savoured the joy of the moment while leaving the almost empty auditorium.
The video also showed the conversation the lawmakers had with newsmen outside the chamber after the acceptance speech of Hon Bipi,. One of the lawmakers said “we impeached the former Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Otelemaba Amachree and we elected the new Speaker, Hon Evans Bipi”. The other lawmaker said “this is a new dawn and we are happy that the leadership of the House has been changed.”
The National Assembly has since taken over the functions of the House of Assembly while a lasting solution is being sought to the crisis.