Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, Frank Okiye, has raised the alarm over a plot by Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, and stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, to import a fake mace to take over the Edo Assembly.
Okiye, who spoke after plenary, yesterday, in Benin, said the plot is to be executed in cahoots with the impeached Deputy Speaker, Yekini Idiaye.
“The dubious plan by Governor Uzodinma and APC stakeholders in Edo to import a fake mace to take over the state Assembly working in cahoots with the deputy speaker, who recently declared support for APC candidate to congregate in a secret location to illegally and violently take over control of the Assembly has been brought to our notice,” he said.
Warning of the grave consequences such a move portends for democracy in Nigeria, Okiye called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Imo governor, and others working with him to execute the illegal plan, to desist from their plans and allow the laws of the state to guide them.
“The state’s polity is already heated by the high political tension from the electioneering. Their planned action is akin to lighting a match in an already tensed political environment, which conflagration is capable of causing crisis in the state, and of a scale beyond our imagination.
“We call on Edo people, whose mandate and interests the state’s legislature holds and protects, to rise against this planned attack and plot to subvert their will and subjugate them using external forces.
“We urge lovers of democracy, across the world, institutions that uphold democratic tenets and values, pro-democracy groups, to denounce this planned illegality that seeks to distract a duly constituted authority.
“We recognise the constitutional rights of the three members of the Assembly to support the candidate of their choice, but that should not distract them from coming to work to carry out the job they were elected for.
“We are, as always, committed to the protection of the democratic rights of our people as the legislature remains a sacred institution in the democratisation process,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Uzodimma has described as false and baseless, allegation by the Edo speaker that he was plotting to import mace to the Edo Assembly.
Uzodimma, who reacted through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said the governor has no business with the problems in the Assembly, urging those concerned to settle their problem and leave him out of it.
“It is unimaginable for somebody to say such a thing, how can he leave his saddled responsibility of governing his state to delve into such issues, they are only imagining things, it is not his business how they run their Assembly. Right now, he is only thinking of how to take Imo to greater heights.
“So, the allegation is false, baseless and unfounded and they should withdraw the allegation with immediate effect,” Emelumba said.
Regardless, a member representing Orhionmwon II Constituency, Roland Asoro, has been elected deputy speaker.
His election followed the impeachment of Idiaye, yesterday, during plenary.