EDO ASSEMBLY: How court ruling deepened crisis – Vanguard

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By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu

THERE is no end in sight to the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly made up wholly of members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the last weekend’s ruling of the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court which said Governor Godwin Obaseki cannot issue a fresh letter of proclamation has further divided the House.

Obaseki, Oshiomhole, Edo APC, Odigie-Oyegun
Oshiomhole-Obaseki

Members of the House who are yet to be inaugurated and their supporters shunned last weekend’s 66th birthday of Hon Charles Idahosa, former political adviser to APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole when he was governor of the state. However,  the others including Governor Obaseki publicly celebrated Idahosa.

While 10  of the 12 members, who were inaugurated have been meeting and carrying out legislative functions, the other 12 insist that there was no proper inauguration,  there is no House and that the judgement from Port Harcourt was “bought.”

They said they are not ready to resume until the “proper thing” is done.

However, the House led by Hon Frank Okiye is trudging on and looking into bills for which a Public Hearing was organised last Wednesday on the bill to establish an Edo State Sports Commission.

Politics of interest

Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon Yekini Idiaye, who went to Port Harcourt to challenge the directive of the National Assembly that Obaseki should issue a fresh letter of proclamation, said the crisis was not as perceived by the media and the public but politics of interest.

However, the spokesperson of the 12 yet to be inaugurated lawmakers, Hon Washington Osifo, said it was a shame that Idiaye chose to subject a serious issue as what he called nocturnal inauguration to mere test in the courts.

We’re all Oshiomhole’s children – Idiaye

Idiaye had told journalists that there is no acrimony or bitterness between the lawmakers and their backers who he described as all products of the same.

He also said Comrade Adams Oshiomhole remained the father of all APC members in Edo state and that “he laid the foundation upon which we are building and would not allow the House to fall”

Idiaye who represents Akoko-Edo Constituency I said he believed his colleagues would also come to the House very soon as according to him, some notable leaders in the state were talking to them.

But Osifo said it was shameful that the issue of legislation for the state is being reduced to just going to court for the sake of it.

He also took a swipe at Obaseki for ‘’ destroying the legacies of Oshiomhole’’ as governor of the state.

He said they were not perturbed by the court ruling but that the National Assembly would take the appropriate action. “If going to court is just to test the knowledge of the court or otherwise, it is unfortunate.”

I won’t allow anyone to buy my future – Osifo

On the relationship between the two camps, Osifo said: “We talk because we are friends and we will continue to be friends but we talk on salient issues. 24 of us were united, we were excited about coming to represent our people but I swore to my conscience never to let anybody buy my future. For those nine, they have sold the people to buy their future and that future I tell you they cannot even guarantee.

He said the Speaker, Hon Frank Okiye was a long-standing member of the House of Assembly but “the question to him is,  is he proud of what is happening there today? We talk all the time and I ask them are they proud of what they are doing in the House?

‘’The reality is that those who murder sleep will never sleep. All they are hungry for is just occupy power at the expense of Edo people. Is that the kind of assembly they want to keep? For me and many of us, I will never be a stooge for the executive and I will never surrender the crown of the legislative arm because the institution called democracy can only be that if those who make laws stand upright and fair in the discharge of their responsibility to the people who voted them.”

He said no matter how they try to justify their actions, the inauguration remains nocturnal that would not stand. “Do they think that collecting the niceties today that come with the office will be forgotten? The future will be decided by what we do today together with what we did yesterday. For me we are embarrassed, we are ashamed of what is happening. The way they carry themselves, you can see that the rules of engagement is not even there”

Osifo said his local government area, Uhunmwonde, has been abandoned while together with its neighbour, Orhionmown, they remain the most backward local councils in the state.

He said: “Nobody introduced me to politics, I came and joined politics because I am interested in contributing my quota. I contested the election but I am not in a hurry to go and collect a salary. Look at my local government Uhunmwonde, that is the most backward local government in Edo State; Orhionmwon and Uhunwonde are in one federal constituency but they are the most backward in the state.

“The governor alluded to this, but since he became governor he has not done anything about my local government area. In a few weeks from now, he will be three in these three years? It is a shame, it is embarrassing.

“You say you are governor in APC, the party through the national leadership has spoken, you pay deaf ears; the National Assembly, which produced majority from your party has spoken, you pay deaf ears; the president of the country, who is the leader of the party has spoken on the matter, you pay deaf ears, are you bigger than everybody?

Vanguard

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