Tony Osauzo, Benin
A disagreement between elected lawmakers and Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has stalled the inauguration of the state’s 7th Assembly.
It was learnt that the disagreement centred mainly on who becomes the Speaker of the 24-member House of Assembly.
According to informed sources, while over 20 of the elected lawmakers who belong to the camp of the ex-comrade governor Adams Oshiomhole, and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), prefer former Speaker of the House, Tiger Edoror, to return as speaker, Governor Obaseki is rooting for former leader of the House and ex-Deputy Chief of Staff to Oshiomhole, Frank Okiye, as the speaker.
Both Edoror and Okiye are from the Central Senatorial district of the state where the position of speaker is zoned.
Last Friday, there was a meeting at the APC’s state secretariat, where the state government represented by the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie, discussed with the elected lawmakers with a view to having a common ground before a proclamation of the inauguration of the House could take place, but the meeting was deadlocked.
It was gathered that while the government position was that the Central Senatorial leadership of the party should resolve and agree on who the speaker should be, the elected lawmakers insisted that it was their right and duty to elect their speaker from among themselves.
Arising from the inability to resolve the issue (s), another meeting was said to have been called for Saturday night, where elected lawmakers reportedly demanded a restoration of their abolished constituency projects and payment of their travel expenses, amongst others things, yet the parties failed to reach an agreement.
Consequently, an expanded meeting of the State Working Committee of the party was called for 2 pm on Sunday with a view to resolving the contending issues.
Recall that Edo-based human rights activist and founder, One Love Foundation, Patrick Eholor, had last week Wednesday, asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to settle his political differences with his party and stop using the people of the state to settle scores.
Eholor made the call in Benin during a peaceful protest march to draw the attention of the public to the non inauguration of the 7th Assembly in the state, saying that it was pathetic that out of the 36 states of the federation, Edo was among the few states whose House of Assembly had not been inaugurated, thereby preventing the spread of the dividends of democracy to the people who voted the members into power.