Edo Assembly crisis: Call Oshiomhole, Ize-Iyamu, Uzodinma to order, Group tells Buhari

Police officers at the Edo Assembly complex on Thursday morning (photo credit: Vanguard

By Jethro Ibileke

A Coalition of Community-Based Organization (CBO’s) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to call the former national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, the party’s governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo state, to order.

This is even as it condemned  attempts by armed policemen to takeover the Edo State House of Assembly, declaring that the action is an “attempt to subvert existing democratic institutions in Edo.”

Armed policemen of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad allegedly from Abuja were said to have stormed the Assembly complex on Thursday and ordered policemen on guard out of the premises.

Leader of the group, Barr. Andrew Adaze Emwanta, while addressing journalists in Benin, Barr. Andrew Emwanta, said the call became necessary because of alleged plan by the duo to make the state ungovernable.

He recalled that on Tuesday, they had raised an alarm over the plan by the duo to cause political violence in the state under the guise of perfecting their rigging strategy for the September 19, governorship election.

According to him, “Few days ago, Ize-Iyamu had in a political rally in Afemai land, threatened that the 12 members-elects yet to be inaugurated, whose seat have been declared vacant would before or after the September 19, governorship election would be inaugurated.

“Today’s affront on the sanctity of hallow chamber of Edo Assembly by thugs is a tacit move  to make good the threat of APC.”

Emwanta cautioned the police and other security agencies “not to allow themselves to be used by anti-democratic forces to create anarchy in Edo state.”

He specifically accused Governor Hope Uzodima, Adams Oshiomhole and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC  governorship candidate for the September 19 poll, of allegedly importing thugs from Imo state, to cause crisis in Edo.

He therefore urged President Buhari to “prevail on Uzodima to immediately desist from his meddlesome incursions in the sovereign affairs of Edo state.”

He added that “the civil conspiracy between Hope, Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu to forcefully takeover an arm of the Edo state government constitutes a threat to the rule of law and democracy in Nigeria.”

Reacting to allegation of complicity in the police invasion of the Assembly premises, chairman of APC media campaign council, Mr. John Mayaki, said the party doesn’t control the police.

Mayaki in a statement released Thursday, accused the Edo state government of carrying out several onslaughts against the constitutional independence of the legislative arm of government by attacking its members-elect and denying them representation.

He insisted that the Governor, who is responsible for numerous other sieges on the Assembly complex, is in the best position to tell the world who is behind the Police blockade on the Assembly.

He said: “It is a known fact that the outgoing Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has treated the House of Assembly, an independent and co-equal branch of government, as a mere extension of his office through the brutalization of members-elect and the denial of representation to the majority of members.

“In Gestapo style, the outgoing Governor hijacked a tiny minority and purportedly inaugurated them in the dead of the night. The sham inauguration was condemned and set aside by both arms of the National Assembly after their separate investigations revealed that the members, and indeed the Clerk, were forced to participate in the illegality under threat to life.”

“With these criminal antecedents, we believe if there is any unwholesome activity ongoing at the Assembly Complex, it is Mr. Godwin Obaseki who is in the best position to explain to the world what is going on and why.”

“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, or the APC, does not control the Police. When Obaseki went to obtain a questionable court order challenging the position of Comrade as the APC National Chairman months back, he was locked out of the National HQ of the party in Abuja. If indeed he has any control over the Police, wouldn’t he have instructed them to leave and grant him entry?

“The Edo State Government should explain to the world and Edo people what is going on. And they can start by explaining why a branch of government meant to carry out oversight functions and check the excesses of the Executive arm has been holding plenary inside the Government House for months over a supposed ‘fumigation and renovation exercise’ at the Assembly Complex’.”