By Christiana Ekpa
The Peoples Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives has condemned the on-going attempt by the All progressives Congress (APC) to unleash mayhem on the people of Edo state and dubiously take over governance of the state.
The Caucus in a statement signed by its Chairman Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP Rivers) described the attempt to impeach the Edo House of Assembly Speaker, Mr Frank Okiye through the back door as not only a clear case of the desecration of the institution of the legislature, but an affront on the people of Edo state and indeed Nigerians.
Hon. Chinda frowned at the role played by police officers who stormed the state from Abuja to forcefully take over the assembly complex undergoing renovation.
The caucus accused the Inspector General of police, Mohammed Adamu and the Minister of Justice and Attorney general, Abubakar Malami of instigating the attempt to impeach the Edo House of Assembly Speaker. As highest ranking law Officers, they should be seen to keep peace and order and not otherwise.
“Why would lawmakers meet at an undisclosed location and claimed that they have impeached the Speaker of the House all in a bid to ensure the removal of Governor Godwin Obaseki through unconstitutional means?
The caucus also questioned the rationale behind the involvement of the police force
“Why would the police be recieving instructions from Abuja to brazenly trample upon the sanctity of the institution of the legislature as if we are in a banana republic where might prevails over the rule of law?”
“ this is not acceptable and must be condemned in its totality” he said
Continuing, the caucus noted: “The men who were accompanied by the Policemen are believed to be members elect whose seats were declared vacant and the action is still a subject of ligation.
“By the provisions of Section 52 and 53 of the Constitution, a member elect must first be sworn in by the Speaker at a properly convened seating of the House and only the Presiding Officer is vested with the powers to convene the House.
Without going into the merit of the matter in litigation, we simply state that no proper seating of any Assembly can be convened, except by the Presiding Officer through the Clerk of the House. Thus the purported seating of the Edo State House of Assembly under the protection and supervision of the Nigerian Police is an act of political desperation and a call to anarchy.
“This action is very likely to push Nigeria to the pristine old days whereby the military and anti democratic forces held sway, and lead to serious crisis that could cause the collapse of democracy in the country. As it were, we are again at a cross road and the omniniius signs that led to collapse of first republic are becoming manifest.
The caucus enjoined the Nigerian Police Force to act professionally and be above board in ensuring that peace and tranquility reigns in every part of the Country.
The caucus called on Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the former APC Chairman and all his supporters and indeed the APC led Federal Government to exhibit maturity, greater candor and a true sense of responsibility, as well as check their actions and those of their supporters, in order not to instigate any electoral violence that will flame and consume democracy in Edo State and indeed Nigeria, particularly as this is coming on the heels of the September 19, 2020 Edo State Governorship elections.
The caucus equally called on the Edo State Governor, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki and the good people of Edo State to stand up to the challenge and resist all attempts to cause crisis in Edo State and truncate our democracy.
The Caucus further called on President Muhammadu Buhari the leader of the APC and OUR PRESIDENT and Commander of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, to live above partisan interest and for once be for everybody and defend the constitution of Nigeria.
The caucus reminded politicians of the words of former President Jonathan that our ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian citizen. APC’s desperation in Edo is likely to lead to blood shed.