The Delta State House of Assembly yesterday elected Hon. Peter Owusaya as the new speaker, following the resignation of the former Speaker, Hon Victor Ochei.
Owusaya, 54, an accountant and a first timer in the State Assembly until his election, was the Deputy Chief Whip of the Assembly and member, representing Oshimili South constituency.
His election came as a surprise to many Assembly watchers in the state as he was said to maintain a quite disposition and pays little attention to political issues in the legislative chambers.
In his acceptance speech, Owusaya, said he was accepting the position with humility, and pleaded for the support of his colleagues to make him succeed in his new assignment. He also pledged his loyalty to the administration of Governor Emmnauel Uduaghan in ensuring a harmonious working relationship between the executive and the legislature.
The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon Basil Ganagana, who read Ochei’s resignation letter while presiding over the proceedings of the assembly, told the legislature that the immediate past Speaker decided to resign his position in order to “pave way for the new leadership.”
Ochei, in his letter of resignation, said he hoped the new leadership would take the state and the assembly to a higher level, having contributed his quota in that regard.
“I wish to thank all those, who made my tour of duty a pleasant affair. To you my esteemed colleagues, I remain grateful for the love and camaraderie we shared while it lasted,” he said.
He prayed that God in His infinite wisdom will avail his successor and indeed the house the sagacity in the task of pursuing the ideals of the Legislature as a partner in governance, for a better society.
Before now, there had been reports that Ochei who was elected as speaker of the assembly in June,2011 had resigned his position.
Ochie, officially tendered his resignation, letter yesterday, even when he was conspicuously absent from the floor of the chambers that witnessed unusual presence of large crowd including members of the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The state PDP Chairman Mr. Peter Nwaoboshi, and Senior Political Adviser to Uduaghan, Chief Ighoyota Amori, were among others who made a surprise appearance at the chambers.
There were usual police presences in and around the assembly complex as visitors and journalists were frisked with metal detector before being allowed into the chambers.
The atmosphere in the chambers was somber as some legislators wore long faces while others tried to crack jokes.
The Deputy Speaker, Ganagana, was led into the chambers at about 10:15a.m., accompanied by very few members of the assembly just after it managed to form quorum.
After a brief proceeding, the Majority Leader of the assembly, Hon. Monday Igbuya accepted the Ochie’s letter of resignation, while Johnson Irejo, a member representing Isoko South constituency moved a motion for the nomination of Hon. Peter Owusaya as the new speaker.
Hon. Sam Obi, member representing Ika North/ East constituency seconded the motion that was unanimously adopted.
The assembly also elected a member representing Ndokwa East constituency, Hon. Friday Osanebi, as the deputy chief whip, following a written appeal from the PDP chairman to the floor of the assembly.