Edo: Obaseki, deputy not represented in assembly 2 years after

The Edo state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Mr. Philip Shaibu have no representative at the State House of Assembly two years after the seventh assembly was inaugurated.

The State constituencies are Oredo West whose member-elect is Chris Okaeben and Etsako West I, Mr. Ganniyu Audu respectively.

The members-elect for the constituencies were among 14 seats that were declared vacant in December 2019 by former speaker, Hon. Francis Okiye over failure to attend parliamentary proceedings for a mandatory 181 days.

Trouble started for the members who were elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) after they protested alleged midnight inauguration of nine, out of 24 members-elect at the the Assembly complex on June 17, 2019.

A member-elect who was not present at the June 17 inauguration presented himself for swearing-in on a later date, while the other 14; alleged illegality in the assembly as presently constituted.

They had argued that the assembly clerk never extended invitation to them for the inauguration and therefore stayed away from parliamentary proceedings.

The embattled members-elect had also approached the court to overturn the June 17 inauguration and compelled governor Godwin Obaseki who was then of the APC to issue fresh proclamation of the Assembly – a move the later objected.

The assembly controversy at the time coincided with the face-off between Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, then National chairman of APC and governor Godwin Obaseki.

The political battle between the two men over the State APC structure had sharply divided the 24 members-elect (all APC) at the time; with each sides plotting to get hold of the Assembly leadership when inaugurated.

However, governor Godwin Obaseki who is now of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has ruled out political solution for the inauguration of the 14 absentee lawmakers-elect.

The governor stated this in reaction to a request by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the APC in the 2020 governorship poll.

According to him, “How can you tell me to forgive those 14 lawmakers-elect who are responsible for sedition and treason in Nigeria? Of course, we are going to start charges.”

“You see, what is bad is bad. Let’s stop covering up things so that people can learn and not do it again”.