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‘Obaseki has mismanaged Edo Assembly crisis’

All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole spoke with reporters in Abuja on the protracted crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly, how Governor Godwin Obaseki is handling the conflict and how it can be resolved. TONY AKOWE was there. What is the bone of contention between you and Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki? This has been an issue I have tried to avoid. I watched people talking about Oshiomhole’s faction and Godwin’s faction. The truth is that I don’t have any faction. Everybody in Edo State particularly those of APC stock, are my people. We founded the party from ACN, to APC. It hurts when people can’t make a distinction between policy positions and unhealthy debate about options in dealing with specific issues. Now, I remain convinced that it is not in the interest of our democracy for nine members at 9:30pm, which I understand the Supreme Court in another judgment has described as nocturnal hours, for an elected parliament to seek to secretly inaugurate a House so that a particular person can emerge as a Speaker and in the process you exclude 15 members of the House. Nine persons cannot elect the Speaker or Deputy Speaker on behalf of 24 members. Number two, it is also the tradition and the law that when you are elected by your various constituencies, the day of your inauguration, the proclamation is not a state secret to be shared by those who are favoured. The proclamation must be published stating time and date. The Speaker, Frank Okiye, accused you of planning to impeach the governor with your loyalists and the governor also accused you of orchestrating the crisis from Abuja… First of all, Okiye is not the Speaker. He is member elect. I watched the governor say those things but the truth of the matter is that he knows better than that. The question I will put to you is, is it within the discretion of a state governor to decide who becomes the Speaker? The only option for him is to lobby and if he lobbies and in the end, he is unable to get everybody to toe his line, he has to concede that these are not his Commissioners or Special Assistants for which he has absolute monopoly to appoint. But even at that, if they are commissioners, they must be screened by the House of Assembly. That is the law.So, I ask you, which section of the constitution says when the governor had decided on who should be the Speaker, so be it. Number two, Okiye, being the beneficiary of the purported inauguration says the agenda is to impeach Obaseki. Did he tell you what offence Obaseki has committed? Is he known to have committed any impeachable offence? Is impeachment a tea party? It does not make sense. By the way who is Okiye? Does he know what was invested in the making of the governor? Can he possibly lay claim to loving the governor more than those of us who went round the state and stake our reputation and invest our energy and persuasive skill to market the governor to the people? If there is one man that wants governor Obaseki to succeed so that everything I said on his behalf comes to pass, I think it will be me. But, we thought the issues were resolved when the governor visited you in your town during Salah? The governor has slept in my house countless times before he became a governor and even after he became a governor. He is my friend, he is my brother. But I am surprised that Nigerians don’t appreciate the fact that even as brothers, if I feel strongly that what my younger brother is doing is wrong, I should advise him quietly and when I do, it becomes factional war, that impression is wrong. Secondly, the governor knows that there is no quarrel between us. Because what could have caused us quarrel, I consciously made decision from day one to avoid it. Namely, I was never going to decide for him who he pays. I was never going to suggest to him who he appoints. But, he alleged that politicians want him to share the money of the state? Political leaders in Edo state, after a year in office, two years, started complaining that after they have worked hard to elect the governor, only three people are in government. The governor, the deputy governor and the SSG. What is their evidence. That the governor immediately dissolved all the boards and two and half years after, he has not reconstituted the boards. These boards are not to be occupied by Oshiomhole. I am not going to hold any position in Edo State any more. These boards were dissolved and the governor after two and half years have not reconstituted the boards. These were part of the complains. The third one was the governor’s decision to create new political leadership. What basically is your point of disagreement with the governor? We do have genuine disagreement about what to do with the young people who were our foot soldiers. I usually refer to them as our infantry division. These are young men and women who o ...Read more

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