From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, 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.
Chairman of the party in the state, Col. David Imuse (Retd), at a press conference in Benin City, said emergency rule had become necessary as Governor Godwin Obaseki was running the state as a dictator, with the judiciary emasculated, legislature crippled and executive personalised.
He said a state of emergency had become inevitable because Governor Obaseki could no longer secure lives and properties of Edo citizens contrary to his oath of office. He also accused the governor of mortgaging the future of the state with his penchant for clandestine borrowing and blatant disregard for the rule of law and court orders, except those in his favour.
Imuse accused Governor Obaseki as functioning as sole administrator of Edo State.
“He is the lawmaker, the judge and the prison put together. 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 in 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.”
He said for almost one-year, local government administration in the state had been thrown into a coma, with the governor’s decision not to conduct elections for chairmen and councillors.
“For a governor who daily interferes 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? 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.”
Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Andrew Emwanta, has, however, described the call as a slap on the faces of Edo State citizens and sign of selective amnesia.
“Edo State, as of today, is perhaps the most peaceful place to live in the entire country with incidences of crime and criminality in the state over the last three months nearing almost zero. And the APC dares to call for a state of emergency in the state, when it superintends over a Federal Government under which lives are slaughtered and maimed on a daily basis all across Nigeria. Can Edo APC not see that their call for a state of emergency should be more appropriately directed to a federal government, which they lead, that has reduced the value of Nigerian lives to near nothing?”
“In Nigeria today, under the leadership of the APC, which their shameless and ragtag Executive Committee (EXCO) in Edo who addressed the press conference represent, you cannot travel from Abuja to Kaduna, Abuja to Keffi or from Abuja to Minna by road, without a 70 per cent chance of being attacked, kidnapped or killed by bandits. And yet these palace jesters gather in the safety of Benin City, provided by the excellent leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki and mouth non-existent chaos.”