Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The 14 elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly have pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfil his promise of resolving the legislative face-off in the state.
They warned President Buhari that the time to act was now, lamenting that having crossed the red line, the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, had now become a threat to democracy.
The Assembly members protesting the governor’s inauguration of ten out of the 24-member legislature, stressed that Obaseki could not continue to work against the party and symbol of democracy, the legislature, without sanction.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, the spokesperson of the group, Hon. Washington Osa Osifo, representing Uhunmwode State Constituency, said it was time the president called the governor to order.
“We want to thank the president for the job he is doing for Nigerians. One thing that counts well for him as a man of integrity is that he has the courage to fight corruption. Corruption comes in many ways because when you brazenly stand on the head of democracy, that is the greatest form of corruption because it opens the window for people to do the wrong thing, just as it is in Edo where funds are wrongly deployed to fighting a cause that is needless just to realise a second term ambition. We want to call on him and also to remind him that this party promised change to the people. We came on the mantra of change and so in all that we do, we must have the consciousness that people are watching. How can it be said that an APC state is embarrassing the nation like this? It is not the intention of Mr President to run a government like this.
“Mr President we call on you to remember that you sent a message to the Edo parliament yet to be inaugurated. When our brothers in Bauchi visited you some months ago, you told them that the reason why they were inaugurated was to defend the laws and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That to subscribe to illegality would be a very wrong thing to do and through them you sent us a message that they should be men of honour. You sent another message to us that immediately your cabinet is inaugurated, the first assignment for your Attorney-General and Minister of Justice will be to look at the situation in Bauchi and Edo states with a view to resolving them. In your words, you said ‘I will summon the IGP to see to it that these wrongs are made right. The issue is that this madness in Edo must be corrected.”
“Obaseki, the governor of Edo state has done manifest injustice to democracy. Obaseki has orchestrated something that is bringing actions that are alien to the people. We can imagine how the whole nation sees Edo. Today, everyone sees Edo State through the eyes of its head as if that is who we are. We are sorry, we apologise because that is not who we are.
“What is happening today is the quest for an ambition that has been taken too far. In the words of Mr President, they have crossed the red line, but crossing the red line is one thing to say but not doing anything to stop or stem that tide is even more dangerous than crossing the red line.
“They have done manifest injustice and untold harm on members of the APC, the same party that we all belong to.
The lawmakers reminded the National Assembly of its resolution asking the governor to issue a proclamation for the inauguration of the Assembly, saying if they abdicate their rights, nothing will go right in this country.