Edo Assembly Crisis: As it was in 2014, so it seems in 2019 – Premium Times

By Obike Ukoh of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

The 2014 scenario in the Edo House of Assembly is replaying itself in 2019 with a “minor modification”.

In 2014, the Edo House of Assembly was engulfed in crisis. That crisis resulted in the emergence of two parallel leaderships that sat separately.

The crisis was latently triggered by the then ruling party at the national level, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while Edo Government, led by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of All all Progressives Congress (APC), resisted the planned imposition of House leadership on the members.

During the crisis, the PDP faction sat at the Anthony Enahoro Assembly Complex, King’s Square, Benin City, while the government-backed faction sat at the old House of Assembly building, inside Government House, also in Benin.

The crisis was triggered by the suspension of the Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea, an APC member representing Esan South-East, and three other APC members who defected to the PDP.

They were suspended for alleged misconduct and violation of House rules after they lost the legal battle to stop the House from suspending them.

The four APC members who defected to the PDP teamed up to elect Mr Ebea as acting Speaker.

They also suspended the Speaker, Uyi Igbe, and six other APC members for alleged behaviour that brought the integrity of the House to serious disrepute.

The 15 APC legislators of the Uyi Igbe-faction relocated from the Anthony Enahoro Assembly complex at the King’s Square to the Old Assembly Chamber inside the Government House due to police restrictions at the complex.


The Edo Police Command, in a statement issued by its Public Relations Officer, Noble Uwoh, said then that the police would not allow any faction of the lawmakers to gain entrance into the Assembly complex.

Nevertheless, the PDP lawmakers gained entry into the complex and had a plenary session with Festus Ebea presiding.

The lawmakers sat with the mace, the sergeant-at-arms and the clerk, where they re-validated the suspension of the eight APC members and formalised the election of the suspended Deputy Speaker as the acting Speaker.

The suspended legislators in their plenary session, presided over by Mr Ebea, passed a resolution calling for the freezing of the House of Assembly’s accounts.

It also directed all commercial banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop forthwith any transaction with the Uyi Igbe-led APC lawmakers.

The above narrative was the situation in 2014. But this time around, the rumbling is different, as the crisis started even before the inauguration.

Secondly, it is a House divided against itself, as all the members belong to the APC, but factionalised ahead of the inauguration.

Nineteen out of the 24 Edo Assembly members-elect, on June 17, called on Governor Godwin Obaseki, to immediately inaugurate the 7th Assembly following the expiration of the previous one on June 7.

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