Reps order Obaseki to reconstitute Edo Assembly
• Lawmakers reject decision, monarch takes crisis to God, ancestors
• PDP deplores impasse, activist urges peaceful resolution
The House of Representatives yesterday gave Governor Godwin Obaseki one week to issue a fresh proclamation for the reconstitution of the Edo State House of Assembly in deference to Section 105 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).It asked him to publish the date, time and venue in a national daily or television station.
This comes as the state legislators opposed the move to “disrupt their activities.”Besides, the Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II, has committed the crisis in the hands of God and the ancestors. The decision of the lower chamber of the National Assembly followed the adoption of the report of the Abdulrazak Namdas-led Ad hoc Committee at the plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase.
The federal legislature declared as null and void all decisions taken by the seventh assembly pending its “proper inauguration” by the governor.
It advised members to dissolve their factions in the interest of peace and stability of the state. The Green Chamber directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to shut the assembly complex and provide adequate security to allay fears of intimidation and threat to lives alleged by a section of the members-elect.
It threatened to take over activities of the House in line with Section 11(4) of the constitution if the governor fails to heed its directive.
But the speaker of the assembly, Frank Okiye, rejected the resolution, saying the resolution does not come to them as a surprise. He alleged: “For example, the chartered plane marked 5N FCT, which brought the committee members to Benin City, was paid for by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is a major party in the disagreement.
“Also, the younger brother to the National Chairman, Seid Oshiomhole, in a recent leaked audio conversation, revealed the underhand dealings in Abuja regarding the matter.“With all these, it was clear that the ad hoc committee was up to no good. Their report was always going to be biased.”He added that a subsisting court order restrained the police, APC’s National Working Committee (NWC), the DSS and their agents from meddling in the affairs of the assembly.
Oba Ewuare II made the disclosure when he received a seven-man fact-finding panel led by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Aliyu Abdullaihi, in his palace in Benin City, the state capital.
“We can only pray that God and the ancestors should give you the wisdom to resolve the crisis and bring peace to the state,” he stated.
However, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has deplored the impasse, asking the people to vote out the ruling party in next year’s election. State chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, in a statement said: “We are embarrassed by the ugly and unending crisis in the APC-controlled Edo State House of Assembly.”
Also, yesterday, the Executive Director of African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), David Ugolor, linked the crisis to a lack of respect for the electorate by the political class. He, therefore, urged the gladiators to sheathe their sword in the interest of Edo people, noting that the take-over of the legislature would have an adverse impact on the citizens.