Confusion in Edo State Assembly as factional speakers, deputies emerge

By AdvocateNews on 06/08/2020

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Iconic mace on top of Edo State House Assembly being removed; gravel offloaded at the entrance.
Iconic mace on top of Edo State House Assembly being removed; gravel offloaded at the entrance.

* Police take over Edo Assembly, roof dismantled

Some men on Thursday vandalised the Edo State House of Assembly and removed its roof.

According to a video shared by Channels Television, the men were seen removing the iconic legislative mace on top of the building.

The video also showed trucks offloading gravels at the entrance of the Assembly Complex while the suspected vandals trooped into the building.

Policemen had in the early hours of Thursday surrounded the Assembly complex in Benin City, the state capital.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the Deputy Speaker, Yekini Idiaye, was impeached by the state lawmakers.

The member representing Orhionmwon-South constituency, Roland Asoro, has since been appointed deputy Speaker and was immediately administered the oath of office and oath of allegiance by the Speaker.

It was gathered that the Police action was in a bid to prevent an attack on the complex.

Apart from many security officials that blocked entrance into the complex, patrol vehicles were also stationed there.

But no security operative was seen in the video shared by Channels Television.

Reports said that Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, may have ordered the “immediate renovation” of the state House of Assembly.

There was tension in the Assembly on Thursday morning following the heavy presence of security agents.

Shortly after Obaseki and the Speaker, Frank Okiye, addressed PDP supporters at the complex, it was learnt that the governor ordered the heaping of sand at the front of the Edo State House of Assembly complex.

Several artisans were also seen removing the roof of the complex as of 3PM on Thursday.

Earlier, following Idiaye’s impeachment on Wednesday, Speaker of the House, Frank Okiye, said Idiaye was impeached because he allegedly planned with the leaders of the All Progressives Congress and the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, “to illegally and violently take over” the Assembly.

Idiaye and some lawmakers had on Monday pledged their support for the APC governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

The Speaker, in an address aired via social media shortly after the impeachment of Idiaye, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call members of his party to order.

The speaker said, “We have it on good authority, the dubious plans by the governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and the stakeholders of APC in Edo State to import a fake maze to take over the Edo State House of Assembly working in cohort with the former deputy speaker who recently declared his support for the governorship candidate of APC to congregate in a separate location to illegally and violently take over the Edo State House of Assembly as brought to our notice.

“And so, we call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the presidency to urgently call this governor and others working with him to execute this illegal plan to desist and allow the laws of the state to guide them.

“The state polity is already heated up by the political tension from the various electioneering campaign. Their planned action is likened to lightening a match in an already tensed political environment which conflagration is capable of causing crisis in the state and may scale beyond imagination.

“We call on Edo State people, whose mandate and interest the state legislature holds and protect, to rise against this attack and plot to subvert their will and subjugate them using external forces.

“We urge lovers of democracy across the world and institutions that uphold democracy and value, as well as pro-democracy groups to denounce this planned illegality that seems to distract a duly constituted authority.

“We recognize 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 for which they were elected and become an agent of mutiny against their own primary constituencies.

“We are as always committed to protecting the democratic rights of our people as the legislature remains the sacred institution in the democratisation process signed by my honourable self on behalf of the Edo State House of Assembly.”

With about six weeks to the September 19 governorship election in Edo, the political atmosphere gets turbo-charged day after day.

Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is seeking reelection on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, will face Ize-Iyamu of the APC, and other political contenders.

17 Edo lawmakers ‘impeach’ Speaker, 'elect' new Speaker

Meanwhile, 17 members of the State Assembly say they have impeached the Speaker, Mr. Francis Okiye.

They also claimed to have impeached the newly inaugurated deputy Speaker, Roland Asoro.

The 17 lawmakers comprise 14 members whose seats were declared vacant, and an additional three members of the Assembly.

The 14 lawmakers were sworn in at a private location, after which they teamed up with three others to impeach Okiye and Asoro.

The 17 lawmakers had pledged their allegiance to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the September 19 gubernatorial election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

The 17 lawmakers also said they had elected a new Speaker, Mr. Victor Edoror.

Edoror, who represents Esan Central constituency, was reportedly elected during an emergency plenary session attended by the 17 elected members.

It was learnt on Thursday that the meeting, which took place in an undisclosed location in Benin City in the early hours of the day, also saw the election of Emmanuel Agbaje of Akoko Edo Constituency II as the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.

A source said that the 14 lawmakers-elect that had yet to be inaugurated were immediately inaugurated after which they allegedly impeached Frank Okiye and Roland Asoro as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.

The source said the new Speaker, Victor Edoror,  promised to focus on its legislative duties, and not pursue the impeachment of any member of the Executive.

He reportedly called for unity and togetherness, stating that there was no victor, no vanquished.

Edoror also directed the Edo Commissioner of Police, the Inspector General of Police, and other security agencies to eject the thugs who have invaded the Assembly Complex in Benin to allow for a rancour-free plenary on Friday, August 7.

Posted 06/08/2020 8:09:19 PM

 

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