From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on the President, to as a matter of urgent national importance declare a State of Emergency in Edo State due to what it called the collapse of governance, one year after Governor Godwin Obaseki PDP-led government assumed office, for a second term of four years.
State chairman of the party, Col. David Imuse (rtd), who made the call at a press conference in Benin City, said it has become necessary because the state is under the dictatorship of Mr Godwin Obaseki who personifies the government, having emasculated the Judiciary, crippled the Legislature and personalized the Executive branch.
He said Governor Obaseki, although democratically elected, is functioning as the Sole Administrator of Edo State, and with word as law, ‘he is the lawmaker, the judge and the prison put together;’ adding, ‘Edo is the only state in Nigeria today without a functional Legislature. What is happening with the 10 PDP jokers who gather regularly at Governor Obaseki’s office is comical.
‘What Obaseki is practicing in Edo today is a democratic taboo. And when a taboo is allowed to exist for too long it becomes a tradition. If this taboo is allowed to be exported to other States, using Obaseki as a reference, it will endanger our democratic culture. Edo is in a serious trouble.
‘Mr Obaseki’s flagrant abuse of power is not provided for, anywhere in the 1999 Constitution as amended. Meanwhile, this Constitution, which our country, Nigeria is still operating remains the grundnorm. So, we wonder where Mr Obaseki is deriving his powers from, as there is no section, in the Constitution either, for a Maximum Ruler or Sole Administrator as we presently have in Edo.
‘For almost one-year, Local government administration in Edo state has been thrown into a coma, with the governor’s decision not to conduct elections for Chairmen and Councilors. For a governor who daily interfered with the State’s local government council’s statutory allocations, is it not self-indictment to say that unless he is able to clear the N60 billion debt they owe, he cannot conduct LG elections?
‘As speak right now, Mr. Obaseki is demolishing the Central Hospital, Benin City with a view to replacing it with a Motor Park. The Government says it has no plans for such demolition two months ago (October) but if you go to Sapele Road by the Hospital this minute, you will see what I am talking about. We know the demolition is imminent and we call on Mr. Obaseki to stop or be ready for the consequences.
‘The only public library in Edo State where children of ordinary Edo men / women go to read to develop themselves has been demolished and the land sold to Obaseki’s cronies to build a Supermarket”, Imuse added.
He explained that a state of emergency has become inevitable in Edo State because Governor Obaseki can no longer secure the lives and properties of Edo citizens, contrary to his oath of office and has mortgaged the future of the State with his penchant for clandestine borrowing and a blatant disregard for the Rule of Law and court orders except those in his favour.
‘Gentlemen of the Press, it should be noted that a State of Emergency in Edo will have a multiplier effect on the various apparatus of government in such sectors like civil service, health, education and security of lives and property among several others which are all presently in dire need of leavening. We in the APC also believe that a State of Emergency in Edo will be a proactive step to flatten the curve of bad governance the state is now suffering,’ Imuse stressed.
He accused Governor Obaseki of bringing untold agony and pain to many as ‘individual homes/private properties are being demolished and Certificates of Occupancy of prominent Edo indigenes perceived as political adversaries are being revoked.’
Besides, Imuse accused the Obaseki’s administration of scamming the people of the state with ‘white elephant’ projects like Gelegele Seaport, Edo Industrial Park for which several billions of naira have been sunk with no result to show.