Five members of the House opposed to Governor Rotimi Amaechi had engaged about 13 of their colleagues in a fight shortly after the pro-governor lawmakers resisted their move to impeach the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Otelemaba Amachree.
In the mayhem, the Leader of the House, Mr. Chidi Lloyd; Michael Chinda and Martins Amahule sustained serious injuries.
As at the time of filing this report, three major video clips of the incident had gone viral on YouTube with many users of the social network sharing the video on their respective channels.
On the YouTube channel of SaharaTV, for instance, the video had attracted over 43,000 views when our correspondent visited.
On another YouTube channel belonging to Israel Ibeleme, 6,777 people had viewed the video, with many of them describing the development as shameful and embarrassing in the comments they dropped after watching it.
Many of them stressed that it was unfortunate that the lawmakers were fighting over personal interests adding that it would have been a lot better, if the energy wasted in the brawl had been channeled into fighting for the progress and development of the country.
On the YouTube channel of SaharaTV, one Michael Eseigbe, who observed one of the lawmakers shouting “Arrow Mates”, described him as a cultist.
According to him, the chant he screamed was a slang expression used by a cult group known as “Supreme Viking confraternity.”
Eseigbe said, “Did any one hear the lawmaker screaming Arrow Mates? That is the chant of a cult group known as the “Supreme Viking confraternity” and we call him a honourable member?
“This is why we will never achieve anything in this country when power have been given to cultists who terrorised their mates back in school and have now brought that wayward life to bear on our socio-political sphere. What a travesty!’’
Another visitor to the YouTube channel, with the name Besty Large, called for the immediate removal of those lawmakers chanting the slogan. Large adds, “It’s a big disgrace to note that a Nigerian lawmaker will be chanting ‘Aro Mate.” If this man shouting that slogan is not brought to book, that means there is no law in Nigeria. He is promoting cult activities. How can a cult member fight for justice?
“This man must be removed as a lawmaker. It’s a big shame and disgrace to a system of government in the country. The man is a member of the Viking confratanity). They are the ones who use Aro mate. The laws of the land forbid members of the legislature and executive arm from belonging to any cult group.’’
But as many Nigerians condemned the lawmakers for the brawl, others called on Nigerians to vote for responsible politicians to pilot the affairs of various arms and tiers of government.
A visitor to one of the YouTube channels, who identified himself simply as Magic, said it was not enough to condemn the act but that the ultimate power belongs to the electorate to vote irresponsible leaders out of office.
Magic stated, “We come here to condemn this shameful act but by next election we would not come out and vote for the right people. It’s high time we rose up to our civic duties of voting for the right people.
“It’s about time we took our rights to vote seriously so that we do not face such embarrassments again. If not, this will just be a tip of the iceberg.’’
Corroborating Magic’s position, another commentator, Mayaki, encouraged youths to come out enmasse and contest elective positions to bring about change in the Nigerian polity.
Mayaki says, “Why we leave our future in the hands of these hooligans is beyond me. Seventy per cent of this country’s population is under 35 (67% under 25)!
“We are not too young to claim control of our destiny, after all, we cannot claim that the wisdom and maturity that comes with old age makes our politicians deserving of their positions.”
A cross section of those who dropped comments on various YouTube channels also called for the meting out of appropriate sanctions on the policemen who joined in the fracas as well as those who failed to intervene during the crisis.
James Cliif noted, “The Commissioner of Police in Rivers State (Mr. Joseph Mbu) should be dealt with for the failure to arrest that cultist who claim to be an honourable member of that House of Assembly. Shame on men of the Nigeria Police and all the security officials who were there but simply looked on.’’