By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
All Progressives Congress members of Edo State House of Assembly have rebuked State governor, Godwin Obaseki over failure to transmit a proclamation letter to the 7th Assembly.
19 out of 24 elected members of the 7th Assembly at a Media briefing on Monday, appealed to president Muhammadu Buhari and the Oba of Benin, Iba Ewuare II to prevail on the governor to issue the letter of proclamation letter as encapsulated in Section 105 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) to enable the Assembly function and avoid constitutional crisis.
Spokesman of the aggrieved legislators, Mr. Washington Osifo, member representing Uhunmwode Constituency on Monday at the NUJ Press Centre in Benin City.
He said the deliberate attempt by the governor not to have inaugurated the house when other States of the federation have done theirs amounted to usurping the powers of the legislators.
According to him, “We urge all well meaning individuals including our well respected Royal Father, His Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, President of the federal republic of Nigeria, the leadership of our party, the All Progressives Congress, APC and the leadership of the National Assembly to prevail on Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State to immediately issue the letter of proclamation to enable the Edo State House of Assembly to function and to avoid serious constitutional crisis”, he said.
“And whereas, all other States of the federation of Nigeria have inaugurated their houses of assembly, Governor Godwin Obaseki has deliberately refused to allow the House of Assembly to function thus usurping the powers of the legislators.
He further said the governor cannot impose his choice Candidates as principal Officers of the House, adding that than lobby the lawmakers, Obaseki had tow a path of perfidy.
“It is also common knowledge that the governor no matter how powerful, cannot impose individuals either as speaker or deputy speaker on the legislators.
“At best, he can only lobby for his preferred candidates as was recently witnessed at the national assembly”, he said.
He however called on the governor of the state to follow the constitution to avoid vacuum.
“Whereas, the governor by virtue of section 105 (3) of the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is constitutionally required to immediately issue a letter of proclamation for the inauguration of the new assembly to avoid vacuum.
“Whereas, there cannot be democracy without the legislature, (because it is the legislature that gives credence to democracy)”, he said.
But, Edo State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paul Ohonbamu, said governor Godwin Obaseki has not violated any law over the delayed inauguration.
He revealed that the APC has was only concern about how to have a rancour free 7th Assembly, unlike the 6th Assembly which had four Speakers in four years.
“ So, the party held a meeting with the 24 members of the Assembly and agreed on the leadership to reduce tension and cacophony of voices.
“The situation has not reached that level where there will be tension free. We do not want a repeat of what happened in the past.
“The governor and the party are preparing to resolve the leadership crises in the 7th Assembly”, he said.
Five elected lawmakers including Mr. Frank Okiye who has been shortlisted by the governor as the 7th Assembly were absent at the briefing.
A two term lawmaker, Mr. Victor Sabor-Tiger Edoror who enjoys the backing of Adams Oshiomhole as Speakership nominee for 7th Assembly, led 18 other lawmakers to the NUJ, appended their signatures on the text which was delivered by Washington Osifo.
Recall that the Speaker of the 6th Assembly, Mr. Kabiru Adjoto had on June 6, 2019 adjourned sitting of the House Sine-die.