Monday, June 17, 2019 6:40 pm
There is more trouble for Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, as 19 out of the 24 Members-elect of Edo State House of Assembly on Monday protested the delay in inauguration of the 7th Assembly.
They accused him of attempting to truncate democracy.
The yet-to-be inaugurated lawmakers made the allegation in a statement they read while addressing journalists at the NUJ secretariat in Benin.
A former Commissioner for Education, Bare. Washington Osifo, read the statement on behalf of the protesters.
He noted that the tenure of the last Assembly expired on 7th of June, 2019.
The statement said: “Today, we Members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly, wish to bring to the knowledge of the people of Edo State and the general public of the attempt by Governor Obaseki to truncate democracy.
“The Governor, by virtue of section 105 (3) of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, (as amended), is constitutionally required to immediately issue a letter of proclamation for the inauguration of the new Assembly, to avoid vacuum.”
They lawmakers-elect noted that “there cannot be democracy without legislature, because it is the legislature that give credence to democracy.”
They accused Governor Obaseki of deliberately refusing to allow the House of Assembly to function, thus usurping powers of the legislature.
According to them, “It is also common knowledge that the Governor, no matter how powerful, cannot impose individuals either as Speaker on legislators. At best, he can only lobby for for his preferred candidates as was witnessed at the National Assembly.”
They therefore called on the people of the state, including Oba of Benin and the leadership of APC, to prevail on Obaseki “to immediately issue letter of proclamation to enable the Assembly to function and to avoid constitutional crisis.”
The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Barr. Paul Ohonbamu, could not be reached on phone for reaction.
But, the State Chairman of APC, Barr. Anslem Ojezua, in his reaction, said the leadership of the party has agreed on the composition of the Assembly leadership.
“I don’t see any constitutional crisis, because, we met only yesterday and we have agreed as a party on how the leadership of the Assembly should be constituted.
“I expect that Mr. Governor will issue the proclamation any time now. But I don’t see any constitutional crisis at all. As you can see, everything is moving smoothly.
“There is no problem at the moment, no one has violated any section of the Constitution, I don’t know what they are getting unduly anxious about,” he said.