Tony Osauzo, Benin
The ranks of yet-to-be-inaugurated lawmakers-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly has depleted from 13 to 12, as one of them, Hon. Emmanuel Agbaje, representing Akoko-Edo II, has been sworn-in, bringing to 12 the total number of lawmakers so far inaugurated.
Meanwhile, two members of the Assembly, Hon Uyi Ekhosuehi, representing Oredo East and Eric Okaka, representing Owan East were said to be absent from sittings of the House since they were inaugurated and later claimed they were forced.
The House convened at about 4.24pm and after the necessary formalities, the Speaker, Frank Okiye, administered the oath of office on Agbaje at 4.31 pm and thereafter announced that the House had to reconvene because of the compulsory retirement of a Deputy Clerk of the House which would only become effective with confirmation from the House “and to set the records straight” and information that some members have completed their documentation and needed to take their oath of office.
Speaking to journalists shortly after he was sworn-in, Agbaje said he had to take the decision based on the position of his constituents and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) he was representing.
“I will say that there comes a time when you put aside personal interest and consider the general interest. I was elected to represent my people, for me their interests come first. I may have some reservation that led to my earlier decision but having reviewed my position vis a-vis the position of my constituency I have decided to tow the line of the masses of my constituency and come in for inauguration so that my people will be adequately represented. I was elected to serve and I didn’t bring myself here. Whatever their position is what I must follow, what they want me to do.
“I believe my constituents will also appreciate that I listened to them and I will want to assure them that the confidence they reposed in me, I will not disappoint them”, he said.
Commenting on his colleagues yet-to-be- inaugurated, Agbaje said: “I would like to urge them that it is time to sheath their swords. This is a family matter; it is an intra-party issue; there must always be disagreements but there should be compromises, that is politics.”