Temidayo Akinsuyi, Lagos
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Monday insisted that he will not issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly as demanded by the House of Representatives and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The House of Representatives last week urged the governor to issue a fresh proclamation within one week in line with section 105(3) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) for a proper inauguration of the state’s 7th Assembly.
It also ordered the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to seal off the House of Assembly until a proper inauguration is done.
Also, the ruling APC had on Sunday called on the governor to obey the resolution of the House of Representatives and issue fresh proclamation.
However, speaking with Daily Independent on Monday the governor, who spoke through Crusoe Osagie, his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, said his responsibility as regards the inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly has ended with the first proclamation.
He said, “It is unconstitutional for the governor to issue any other proclamation. The constitution says that the governor shall issue a proclamation letter.
“That is where the governor’s responsibility begins and ends in the constitution of the House of Assembly. So, after doing that, the governor cannot issue another proclamation because the constitution does not allow him to do so”.
The Edo State chapter of the APC on Monday also said the House of Representatives lacks the power to order the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to seal off the House of Assembly until a proper inauguration is done.
In an interview with journalists, Anselm Ojezua, the state chairman of the party, also assured the people of the state that no invasion will take place in the state as Edo is not a colony of the National Assembly but a sovereign part of Nigeria.
While restating his earlier statement that the leadership of the party is comfortable with the development in the House of Assembly as its preferred candidates are the ones occupying leadership positions, Ojezua said the intervention of the National Assembly has worsened the political situation in the state rather than resolve it.
According to him, “The people of Edo should continue to live in peace and not to be worried by the so-called threat of an invasion. There will be no invasion against the people of Edo. Edo State remains a sovereign part of Nigeria. We are what we call federating partners.
“We are not anybody’s houseboys. Edo is not a colony of the National Assembly or of anybody or any entity. So, the people of Edo shouldn’t worry at all. All what is playing out now is just politics and it will be resolved politically”.
While accusing the leadership of the House of Reps of acting out a script, Ojezua said having sent its committee to the state on a fact-finding mission and the state chapter of the party has said it is not against the present leadership of the House led by the Speaker, Frank Okiye, what the National Assembly should have done is to recommend a political solution instead of threatening to take over the House.
“We don’t believe that the National Assembly has a right to intervene in this matter. We know that we are obliged to be polite to them when they come calling for very obvious reasons. So, we’ve made all the facts known. If we had resisted them, the tendency would have been that we have something to hide.
“They have come and they have all the facts. The fact is that the House was inaugurated, that a leadership is in place and they are actually functioning and that the matter is in court. With all that knowledge, what we expected to report and recommend is that in the light of all these facts, they should seek political solutions and watch the judicial pronouncements. They didn’t do that.
“They couldn’t even wait for the National Assembly process to be completed before they went to town. In doing that, they justify the speculation in town arising from audio recording where one of the House of Assembly member was boasting that the matter has been resolved and that the Senate President and the Speaker have already been told what to do and three days later, they did that which the voice said, even though prematurely of their own processes. That to my mind has compounded our problem rather than help to resolve”.