Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Felicia Bassey to emerge Deputy Speaker * Udo Kierian tipped as House Leader

Felicia Bassey to emerge Deputy Speaker    * Udo Kierian tipped as House LeaderFelicia Bassey to emerge Deputy Speaker    * Udo Kierian tipped as House LeaderFelicia Bassey to emerge Deputy Speaker    * Udo Kierian tipped as House Leader

* Gabriel Tobby campaigns for Chief Whip

Investigations by THE INK news desk have shown that Princess Felicia Bassey, the House member-elect for Okobo State Constituency may likely emerge as the Deputy Speaker of the 6th Assembly. This, we learnt is premised on a consensus arrangement reached by the returning and newly elected members in a hotel in Abuja during the one week induction program organised by the National Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS) for state legislators. In reaching the consensus agreement, a close source explained that the move is borne out of the need to be gender sensitive and give the women folk a sense of belonging in the House. This, according to a very reliable source who spoke on condition of anonymity is what he said is the belief of the members both returning and newly elected ones of Mrs. Felicia Bassey’s political sagacity and doggedness. 
THE INK further gathered that the decision of the House members to pick Princess Felicia Bassey for the number two position in the Legislature is attributable to the fact that the newly elected members far outnumbers the returning lawmakers hence the decision to allow her take up the post as she is seen as a strong voice who, among other things, will serve the interest of women positively.  Another thing that Princess Felicia Bassey has going for her is what analysts say is her grasp of the politics of the state which culminated in her defeat of Hon Efeffiong Antigha at the primaries to emerge candidate of the PDP before securing victory at the polls to represent the good people of Okobo state constituency.  Our reporter learnt further that as the current chairman of Okobo Local Government Area, political observers reckon her as someone who is on ground politically and will use her connections to give qualitative representation to her people. Those close to the newly elected lawmaker disclosed to THE INK that she is already aware that the Deputy Speaker’s slot has been handed to her and she is said to be gearing up to take over her new role with the best possible frame of mind.

Meanwhile, Rt. Hon. Kierian Akpan who is the outgoing Deputy Speaker is said to have landed the position of Leader of the House, investigations reveal. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), we learnt, have zoned the position to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district which makes it a matter of when rather than if the Oruk Anam lawmaker will assume his new role as Leader Of the House.  Though, the former Labour Leader is facing an opposition in the person of Hon. Friday Iwok who is also a returning member but odds appear to favour Udo Kierian Akpan to clinch the position.  To occupy the Deputy Leadership of the House position is likely going to Uyo Federal Constituency which makes it almost certain that it may go to Uyo, Ibesikpo, Uruan or Nsit Atai state constituencies. As it stands, nobody is certain of landing the coveted post but by and large, the search for who occupies the Deputy Leader’s slot will not transcend the above listed local government areas.

Findings by THE INK also indicate that the position of the Chief Whip has been zoned to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district and to scoop the position will surely be to Hon. Gabriel Tobby of Ika-Etim Ekpo state constituency or Hon Friday Iwok of Abak state constituency. Reports has it that Gabriel Tobby has been campaigning seriously for the position and sources say he may eventually get the nod other things being equal. Hon. Otobong Ndem representing Ikot Abasi state constituency and Hon. Uduak Odudoh of Mkpat Enin State Constituency are in the running for the Deputy Whip slot, sources say.  Both men are said to be in last minute calculations and scheming to slug it out for the exulted position.

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