The member representing Ahiazu Mbaise State Constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Samuel otuibe, on the all denied throwing bottle and glass cup on Hon. Uju Onwudiwe (Member representing Njaba Constituency).
Otuibe who disclosed this on Friday, told Saturday Nigerian Horn that he only cautioned the member representing Isu State Constituency, Hon. Ngozi Obiefule not to lay cause on Imo State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins with salt and water.
May we know you Sir?
I’m Hon Samuel Otuibe, member representing Ahiazu Mbaise State Constituency
The media has been awashed that few days ago, you went out of your way to insult Hon. Uju Onwudiwe by throwing glass cups on her, what actually happened?
Honestly, am shocked when I heard and read such story. I had kept quite believing that my good friend and highly respected colleague will not lay such allegation against me. My thinking is that it is part of these rumours that 22 members of the House of Assembly have signed impeachment notice against the Speaker Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins.
Unfortunately, as the days go by I still see and read such false hood in the media and I have considered it necessary to open up and tell the entire world the truth and nothing but the gospel truth of what I know. We had a meeting at the residence of the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chyna Iwuanyanwu. The Deputy Speaker was celebrating his birthday and we were equally having our APC Caucus meeting. In the meeting, the speaker, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins stood up and asked for forgiveness from all the members who are aggrieved over his alleged actions and inactions. He pleaded for the spirit of forgiveness, brotherly love and unity of purpose.
He said he has taken all the blames if he has any issue with the members of the House. That if he has wronged the leadership that he is asking for forgiveness and if the leadership has wronged him he has also forgiven the leadership, that they must move on. It was there and then that Rt. Hon. Arthur Egwim stood up and brought out the issue that is ravaging his constituency, which every member concurred that they are having similar issues in their various constituencies. It was at that point that Hon. Obinna Okwara of Nkwerre State Constituency stood up and raised another issue that was fundamental to the House and the State at large.
We were discussing on the confines of APC on issues concerning us. The moment Hon. Obinna stopped, Hon. Ngozi Obiefule stood up to speak, she started by saying that she heard that the speaker alleged that, it was at this juncture that Hon. Obinna asked her to stop on the ground of information, reminding us on the need to confine within the issue on discussion that after the meeting any other issue(s) whether with the speaker or any other member will be addressed and resolved under A.O.B. Hon. Okwara insisted again that any member that has any personal issue(s) with the speaker or any member of the house should keep it until under AOB the issue will be resolved, that since the meeting has commenced that it is necessary we discuss the things concerning us and any other matter will be addressed under A.O.B. Hon Obiefule quickly stood up and say emphatically No.
She insisted that she must be heard, that the things is paining her. At that point and because she is a woman, we decided to allow her to speak. She started by saying that Mr. Speaker told someone that she killed her husband. Swiftly, she removed her slippers, stood on her feet, brought out water and salt and put the water and salt in a glass cup and on top of her voice shouted that if Mr. speaker does not swear with the water about the allegation that she will curse Mr. Speaker and that Mr. Speaker and those following him will go like her husband. It was at this point that I stood up and said to her Madam, you don’t do this here and . Beyond politics, we are Igbos and in Igbo customs and tradition, a woman is not supposed to lay curse on a man in public.
If not for politics, in Igbo tradition, if you go to a traditional kinsmen or women meeting in Igbo land, are you supposed to use water and salt and curse this man. She still insisted that she must continue to hold the floor and speak out her mind, it was at this point that Hon. Uju Onwudiwe stood up and started warning me. That it is becoming too much on me that am here to play the script that we have hatched at the Speaker’s House.
I stood up and said excuse me Madam, are you talking to me? I told her am only cautioning Hon. Ngozi Obiefule that she should not over step her boundaries and at that point she started shouting. Hon. Ngozi Obiefule was still holding the glass cup with water and she wanted to pour it out after causing the Speaker and his followers, I just held her hand and brought it down and the glass cup swift off her hand and fell on the ground. Please, is this the same as throwing a glass cup on somebody?
Now, let us reason like average human beings in a room of 20 metres, can you target a person with a glass cup without getting the person? And after throwing the first one, you didn’t get her and you threw again the second one yet you didn’t get at her. It then means the woman must be a spider woman or a strong woman.
I want to equivocally state that beyond politics and beyond representing our people, we owe a duty to our people to respect our revered culture, tradition and custom. We must behave like women and men. A women can not because we are gender friendly unnecessarily disrespect a man and go scot free and you equally want a man to respect you after insulting him. I want to say if any man or woman claiming that this is right let he or her take a glass of water and salt and curse her husband or wife and see what it means on the tradition of Igbo land.
I want to clearly state it that there was never a time or any point I throw a bottle or any glass cup at Hon. Uju Onwudiwe of Njaba State State constituency even they said that Hon. Herclus Okoro was injured in the process but hon. Okoro has debunked the story, saying that at no time was he injured and he did not go to hospital at any time.
In veiw of the allegation trending in the media, what have you done since then?
You know by my nature as a person being a former Seminarian and from a disciplined home, above all, having been working with a woman from 2010 till date and I have not insulted her and I have not even disobeyed her for one day, it all means I have love and respect for women. Because of the nature of the issue and of course I have a wife and I have this training that even if a woman reacts wrongly, you wait and calm down so that the woman will come back to her senses before you talk to her and as a man and I understand they have husbands in their houses I will not go down to start misbehaving like a woman because I am a man.
Secondly, it is unparliamentary for you to start talking about parliamentary issues in the social media and other media of mass communications. That is why we have disciplinary committee of Imo State House of Assembly.
Hon Uju Onwudiwe and Hon. Ngozi Obiefule are both ranking members and they should understand this better. As legislators, it is mandatory for us to always respect the rules and regulations of the House. Discussing House issues in social media or any other media is unparliamentary and doesn’t show you understand the respect being accorded to you as a ranking member, you are simply making those of us who are first timers ruined by disrespecting the rules and regulations of the State Assembly.
Thus, because am not the House Committee Chairman on Information, I must limit what I say. I can not represent the House at this point because the onus lines on them to speak on behalf of the House.
There is also this insinuation that when the House begins, that you may be asked to tender an apology or go on suspension. Are you not worried about this?
I am one man that believes in reality and things that are realistic and not in rumours. Besides, I have not seen any official statement from the House, moreso, the House Disciplinary Committee has not written me telling me my offense, before I will start reacting to that.
For now let me limit it to what I know until the unknown comes, I will know how to react. Thanks.