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Edo Assembly crisis intensifies as Gov Obaseki plots to dump APC for PDP

Adams Oshiomhole and Godwin Obaseki

By Egbadon Okojie

Tongues are already wagging and anticipation high with respect to the
planned defection of the Edo state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki from
the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to the opposition Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP.

This is not surprising, especially bearing in mind the rate at which
the governor and his allies have been, and are still hobnobbing with
the main opposition party, the PDP, in and outside the state, and how
the members of the PDP are praising and supporting all of Obaseki’s
antidemocratic activities, executive impunities and the clamping down
on the APC heavyweights and members in the state.

The latest in the romance between the allies of Mr. Obaseki, with the
PDP members, came up during the weekend when Hon. Frank Okiye, the
appointed Speaker of Edo state House of Assembly, attended a thanks
giving programme of the member representing Esan North East/Esan South
East Federal constituency in Ubiaja. Before now, at the government
House, Governor Obaseki had played host to Chief Gabriel Igbinedion,
and Chief Tom Ikimi, both PDP stalwarts in Edo state; it is common
knowledge that, some APC leaders are not welcome in government House
today. Again, Governor Obaseki’s visits to Governor Ifeayin Okowa of
Delta state recently, perhaps to conclude arrangements on his
defection plans.
It will be recalled that, Mr. Obaseki had since fallen out with his
former boss and predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the present
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, and this feud
created faction within the family of the APC in Edo state; this
faction so created, snowballed into the impasse currently rocking Edo
state House of Assembly where the Governor of the state, Mr. Godwin
Obaseki, had only five members loyal to him, while the remaining
nineteen members turned their backs on him. Mr. Obaseki, seeing this,
retorted to kidnapping four out of the nineteen, forced them to join
in the kangaroo nocturnal inauguration that was held in the middle of
the night in which Frank Okiye was appointed as the Speaker. This
charade inauguration, which is a mockery of democracy, has turned Edo
state to a laughing stock before other states in the country, and
members of the PDP are clapping for Mr. Obaseki and urging him on.

Recently, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, in company of other
traditional rulers in Edo state, visited President Muhammadu Buhari to
ask him to intervene in the feud between the National Chairman of the
APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Edo state Governor, Mr. Godwin
Obaseki for peace to reign in Edo state as legislative matters are
suffering setbacks and the people of Edo state are at the receiving
Meanwhile, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in a recent interview with pressmen,
said, he has no issues with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and that, as far
as he is concerned, other aggrieved members elect of EDHA who have not
agreed to be inaugurated, are the cause of the stalemate currently
rocking Edo state House of Assembly. From his comments, it is clear
that his position remains that, the kangaroo inauguration of the
minority over the majority, still stand irrespective of the directive
given to him by the National Assembly, NASS, Directorate of Security
Services, DSS, and the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to send a
proper letter of inauguration, within five working days, which will
elapse on Wednesday, 9th July, where all elected 24 members will be
properly inaugurated, as the inauguration of a state House of
Assembly, is not a private, but a public function. The directive also
made it clear that if a proper letter of inauguration is not sent
within the given time frame, the National Assembly will have no choice
but to seal up EDHA.

As all these play out in the political terrain of Edo state, Edolites
who are at the receiving end of what can be aptly described as the
clash of the titans, are apprehensive and praying that this dust
should settle for them to continue to live their normal lives.




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