From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Yesterday’s impeachment of the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Victor Edoror and his Deputy, Hon. Bright Osayande, did not come as a surprise to political watchers in Edo State.
The impeachment which was carried out by16 of the 24 members was the climax of political intrigues in the politics of the state with permutations that the development may not be unconnected with the race for the Edo Government House. Some observers believe the impeachment was a move by the House to assert its independence, especially as the incident was coming barely few weeks after the House asked local government chairmen to hand over the administration of their councils to their heads of administration.
But many argue that the happening in the Assembly may have implication for APC’s primaries, as the lawmakers are said to be positioning themselves to play a major role and secure their interests in who becomes the next governor of the state.
Early in the life of the current Assembly, attempts were made to remove the Speaker over allegation that he was appropriating welfare package meant for members for himself alone, but he survived.
But things however got to a head last month, when suddenly members at the plenary sitting of the House called for indefinite adjournment of the Assembly over the same issue of welfare for members.
In his ruling, the Speaker, Rt. Hon Edoror pleaded with the lawmakers to sheathe their swords, and promised that the issue would be resolved at executive session and then adjourned sitting to the following Tuesday.
But like a recurring decimal, the same issue of welfare for the lawmakers reared its head again yesterday, with the Majority Leader, Folly Ogendegbe, representing Owan West moving a motion for the removal of the Speaker. His motion was seconded by Ganiyu Audu, Etsako West I. “We the underlisted and undersigned Honourable
Members representing the various constituencies in the Edo State House of Assembly have on this day, May 3, 2016 have resolved to impeach
our Speaker, Edoror and Osayande for acts of gross misconduct.
Consequently, a speaker ex-tempo, Hon. Patrick Iluobe was appointed to preside over the business of the day where the new speaker, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie representing Uhumwode was appointed and Dr. Justin Okonoboh
representing Igueben was appointed as deputy.
However, the impeached Speaker and his deputy were not removed without a fight, as thugs allegedly loyal to them invaded the Assembly, amid sporadic shooting, forcing law enforcement agents to fire canisters of tear gas to disperse people around the Assembly Complex. Soon after the installation of the new Speaker and her deputy, the lawmakers proceeded to Government House to meet with Governor Adams Oshiomhole, apparently to brief him on what transpired in the House.
In the calculation of many, the impeachment is nothing other than the intrigues playing out ahead of the governorship election.
Former Speaker declines appointment as Airhiavbere’s DG
From Tony Osauzo, Benin
FORMER Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Thomas Okosun, has turned down the request by Gen. Charles Airhiavbere to be the director-general of the committee to elect him the next governor of the state.
Okosun, a lawyer was also a former state chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.
The former lawmaker, who made his position known to journalists in Benin City, described as mischievous media publications that he had accepted the offer from the governorship aspirant.
He said though an offer was made to him by the principal, he was yet to consider the proposal before the said publication was made.
“I have reached a stage in politics that I should not just jump into offers. I don’t see myself being a Director General to an aspirant; I would be glad if I am to head the main campaign organisation.
“I have deep respect for the General and all our correspondence has been in good faith. Yes, an offer was made but I also did not accept it. For me as a lawyer, there has to be an offer and acceptance,” he said.
PDP welcomes 600 APC, SDP defectors in Etsako West
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to win the forthcoming governorship election, following the defection of about 600 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Etsako West Local Government Area.
The defectors, who pledged their loyalty to the PDP at a reception organised for the newly sworn-in lawmaker representing Etsako West II in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Sylvanus Eruaga, in Afashio-Uzaire, said with their defection, the process of annihilating the APC in the council had begun.
Among the hundreds of defectors were a two-time councilor in the council, Hon. Atogwe Oghie, former APC youth leader in ward 12 of the council, Otis Mohammed; Alhassan Enahela and Nicholas Sedi.
Edo State Chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih, who welcomed the defectors to the party, said with the inauguration of Hon. Eruaga, a PDP lawmaker now represents Governor Adams Oshiomhole in the state House of Assembly.
Orbih said a PDP government will rename the Edo State University, Iyamho, to Edo State University, Uzaire, as the PDP will ensure that the entire Uzaire clan benefit from the new university
Also speaking, a PDP governorship aspirant, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said the number of PDP lawmakers in the Edo State House of Assembly would increase before the end of the year.
Hon. Eruaga in his remark, said if not for the leadership of the state chapter of the PDP, the leadership of the Edo State House of Assembly was prepared to deny him of his electoral victory.
He promised to single-handedly mobilise members of his constituency for the PDP, assuring that the PDP would win the governorship election.
Some PDP leaders, who attended the event included Johnson Emasealu, Jaret Tenebe, Abu Meekatah and the publicity secretary of the PDP in Akoko Edo Local Government, Kayode Alabi.
Odubu meets delegates in Edo Central, promises jobs
Ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries, the state deputy governor, Dr. Pius Odubu, has disclosed that creation of job for the unemployed will be his major priority, amongst others.
The governorship aspirant made this known when his campaign train berthed at Esan South East and North East local governments in continuation of his meetings with party delegates.
He also promised a zero interest loan to women to help boost their trade if elected governor.
Addressing a large crowd of delegates at Esan South East and Esan North East, Dr. Odubu said: “I have come to you to seek votes during the delegate election to be nominated as the governorship candidate of our great party.
“Power lies in the people. I want to assure you that given the experience I have garnered over the years in government, I will immediately begin to tackle the most challenging issues in our polity, including that of job creation for our youths. I have been in government and I understand where we are and where we will be addressing.
Meanwhile, the Edo North coordinator of Odubu campaign organisation, Peter Obas has described as ungodly and embarrassing reports that an attempt was not made to kill the deputy governor.
He said it was laughable to hear that one would equip thugs to disrupt and shoot at his security aides and followers as painted by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Kassim Afegbua, in a statement.
He said: “We have it on information that some people were given money not to come out to receive the deputy governor, adding, “even a mad man cannot empower a person to shoot himself.
“The whole convoy of the DG was the target. He being the number one was the target. If not the security that shielded him and his supporters, it would have been a different thing,” Obas said.