…Tight security as new speaker is sworn in
From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday, in Abuja, inaugurated a five-member fact-finding committee to unravel the crisis in Edo chapter of the party.
The committee was also charged with the responsibility of proffering solutions to the issues and restore normalcy to the party in the state.
The committee comprised Mr. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, chairman; Senator Osita Izunaso, vice chairman while Senator Victor Ndoma Egba (SAN), Hajiya Fatimah Mohammed and Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi are members. Inaugurating the committee, APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said arresting the situation in Edo had been a matter of concern at all levels of the party.
“Go to Edo State to restore normalcy within the fold of APC in that state. It is a critical state strategically; I hope I won’t be misinterpreted if I say it is a must-win,’’ Odigie-Oyegun charged the committee. He assured the committee that the party would provide a level-playing field for every player in the Edo elections and would not discriminate against anyone.
“I want you to go with the definite knowledge that at the national level, we are determined that there will be free, fair primary and a level playing field for all.”
Responding, the committee chairman said: “We realise that it is very necessary for peace to prevail in every chapter of our party. This assignment will be carried out diligently and without fear or favour. The trust you have in us to carry out this assignment will not be misplaced.’’
Edo had been enmeshed in stories of disaffection between Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his Deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu. In a similar circumstance, the House of Assembly last Tuesday impeached its Speaker, Victor Edoror, with 16 out of 24 members endorsing it. He was replaced with the only female member of the house, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie.
Meanwhile, new Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie, was yesterday sworn in by the Clerk, Mr. Ugiagbe in a ceremony witnessed by the former Speaker, Mr. Edoror. The new speaker who thanked the lawmakers for expressing their confidence in her leadership, promised to lead the Sixth Assembly with transparency, adding that the House would work with other arms of government to ensure that the state reaches an enviable height.
She also urged members to ensure that the legislature carried out its constitutional role in the interest of the people of the state, even as she announced the lifting of the suspension of the former speaker. In the spirit of oneness, in the spirit of breaking new grounds and working harder and in the spirit of reconciliation, I wish to announce that the suspension of the member representing Esan Central, Victor Edoror, is hereby lifted. “So, he can come in and join us in business of the development of our fatherland,” Ativie said.
During yesterday’s sitting, the lawmakers also elected new principal officers of the House just as new heads of House committees were announced.
The House Majority Leader, Foolly Ogedengbe, representing Owan East constituency, retained his position while Kabiru Adjoto (Akoko Edo I, APC) was elected as the new chief whip, replacing Sunday Aghedo (Ovia South-West, APC).