National, News

Rebecca cries foul over chief whip position

By Bida Elly David


Former government chief whip at the National Assembly (RTNLA), Rebecca Joshua Okwachi, has demonstrated dismay over her removal from the seat, saying she wasn’t notified.

“I have not received any official information from the parliament that I have been removed from the position of government chief whip.” Rebecca echoed her grief.

Last week, the speaker of the R-TNLA, Jemma Nunu Kumba, reshuffled the leadership of parliamentary standing committees, including chief whips, upon the end of their tenure.

The former government chief whip stated that her appointment was through party procedures, not on individual merit.

“When I was appointed, there was a procedure for the party, and there were some orders. I would not have been relieved from my position until I got some orders from my party,” she argued.

Reacting to her relief before the August House yesterday, Hon. Rebecca slammed Speaker Nunu, saying she has no powers to remove her from the seat of the SPLM chief whip in parliament.

“The speaker has no right to remove chief whips for being the orders of procedures,” she reiterated.

She sadly stated that, despite the official handing over of office to her successor, the order was unfair and not genuine.

“I want to let the parliament know that I have officially handed over the officer to the newly appointed chief whip,” she conceded.

In response to her complaint, Permena Awerial, the 2nd deputy speaker who chaired Monday’s sitting, hit back at Rebecca, saying all chairpersons of political parties were initially notified about the changes.

He said Rebecca acted on weak ground with her claims over illegal replacement, referring her to confirm with her party leadership.

“The Rt. Hon. Speaker cannot remove her without the chairman of the party concerned,” he continued. “She should have asked the secretary general of the party before raising it in the house.

The presiding speaker referred Hon. Rebecca Okwachi to conduct more consultation before blaming the speaker of the August House for her relief from the chief whip post.

“I refer her to the secretary of the party, Peter Lam, to clear the doubts and let her also read the order or see the chairman of the party in case of any doubt,” Awerial reacted.

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