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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Reps disagree over establishment of polytechnics in Delta State

Two members of the House of Representatives, Francis Oghene Waive (Ughelli South/Udu federal constituency) and Ossai Nicholas Ossai (Ndokwa East/Ndokwa West/Ukwuani federal constituency) on Thursday disagreed over the establishment of two polytechnics in their constituencies.

This followed after a Bill for the establishment of a Federal Polytechnic in Orogun, Ughelli North Council Area of Delta State scaled through second reading at plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase.

There was, however, a mild drama as Ossai of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) raised a point of constitutional order on the need to adhere to the federal character principle.

Ossai, who was piqued over Senate’s alleged refusal to consider his Bill seeking to establish a Federal Polytechnic in Kwale, argued that it would be unfair to site another polytechnic in the Delta Central senatorial zone, which already has six state and federal tertiary institutions.

His intent was to block consideration of the Bill on the Orogun Polytechnic on the basis that it was a replica of his own Bill, but Wase ruled him out of order, maintaining that his point of order was irrelevant to the issue at stake, which revolved around Delta State.

Dissatisfied with the Deputy Speaker’s position, Ossai, who accused the House of ganging up against the interest of his constituency, said his Bill on the establishment of Federal Polytechnic in Kwale scaled the third reading in the House on July 25, 2019.

He alleged that when the Bill was introduced on the floor of the Senate on December 12, 2019, it was stepped down at the behest of Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo- Agege, who sponsored the Orogun Polytechnic Bill.

Ossai claimed that repeated effort to get the Bill relisted on the Senate order paper for concurrence met the brick wall due to Omo-Agege’s overbearing influence.

He, therefore, urged the House to step down the Orogun Polytechnic Bill and constitute a committee of principal officers with the exclusion of Omo-Agege in order to address his grievances.

Reacting, Waive who sponsored the Orogun Polytechnic Bill in the House, expressed dismay over Ossai’s conduct, adding that he reserved the right to sponsor any Bill that would benefit his constituency.

Waive of the All Progressives Congress (APC) blamed Ossai for not doing the needful to ensure the concurrence of his Bill in the Senate.

He also defended Omo-Agege, saying there was no way he would go out of his way to block Ossai’s Bill on the establishment of a Federal Polytechnic in Kwale, which would be beneficial to Delta State.

Insisting that it would be in the best interest of Delta State to have more federal institutions irrespective of the location, he argued that there was no way an individual to step down a Bill in the Senate or House of Representatives. 

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