In this chat with Our Senior Correspondent, Benin, ISAAC OLAMIKAN, Comrade Soni Ehiosu Idahagbon, a chieftain of the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, bares his mind on the crisis rocking the state house of assembly and other relevant issues
Enjoy the excerpts:
What would you say is the main reason for the hullabaloo in your party, the APC, in Edo State?
There is only one leader in the APC in Edo State and that person is no other than Mr. Godwin Noghegase Obaseki, the Executive Governor of the state. You should be very much conversant with the APC constitution. It stipulates very clearly that the leader of the party in a state is the chief executive of the state. It has been so right from the inception of the party and so it is now and will continue to be until the party is rested as a political party.
There are reports flying about that Governor Obaseki officially became a member of the APC barely a few weeks to the governorship election in 2016
That’s neither here nor there. The important thing is that the governor is a member of the APC and was found worthy in character and academic qualification and any other basic parameter of assessment to be the flag bearer of the party. He was subsequently cleared by INEC. He eventually contested the election and won. So far, so good the man has being giving a superlative account of his stewardship.
His stewardship has been nothing but very sterling as far as performance index is concerned. You can see road construction revolution everywhere. You can see the renewal of governmental institutions all over the state. You can see the upgrade of government offices into that of a first world class and status. If you have travelled to some of this civilised climes you will observe that Mr. Obaseki is in a hurry to transform Edo State into a very civilised society. So, I think he deserves all the accolades. As far as I am concerned he is doing very well and I know that the vast majority of the good people of Edo State are behind him.
Take note of my word – the good people. You know in every society there are good people and there are bad elements as well. What might be attractive to a good person may be abhorrent to a bad person. That’s the way life is. Everybody cannot like a good thing. There are people who have this constant penchant for negativity. They will never see anything good in anything that is good. It is only when there is some level of evil that they want to call a spade by the name that’s not its own.
The issue of the nocturnal inauguration of nine members of the state house of assembly has continued to generate controversies. What is your take on it?
I do know that the law stipulates how a house of assembly should be inaugurated. I do also know that the law stipulates that the governor shall issue a proclamation order which will be received by the clerk of the house. I do know that the clerk of the house has not complained that he didn’t receive it. I also know fully well that the clerk having received it has come out to state that he did the needful by inviting all the members elect. I do also know that the law did not stipulate anywhere that the clerk of the house should go and drag any member elect to the inauguration session.
Be that as it may, I think this matter has been over flogged. The house has been inaugurated, there are a number of court cases pending before courts of competent jurisdiction. So, I believe very much that for people to continue to interfere and to continue to adjudicate in whatever means is a very sad point in our national body politics. Nigeria is being governed by the rule of law.
That rule of law is contained in the ground norm which is the constitution. The law states that where there is a dispute you take it to the law court for arbitration. Right now, the case is in the law court for arbitration therefore I think it is sub jaudice for any governmental arm or institution to be indulging in meddlesomeness in this matter because right about now this matter is sub jaundice.
Therefore, I think it is only the court that is competent to address this matter any further. Whether the inauguration of the house was done in line with the dictates or spirit of the laws of the land I will like to advice that the national assembly should not allow itself to be dragged to the mud as it is currently allowing itself to be used. The truth of the matter is that right now they’re supposed to stay off this matter pending the determination of the various court cases. So that they don’t become guilty of the laws that they are supposed to be making.
They must show respect to the constitution. They must show respect to the institutions of government. They must show respect to the Edo State governor because he is not subject to the whims and caprices of the national assembly or to that of anybody for that matter other than what is stipulated by the laws of the land. The governor is the chief executive of Edo State. It is only the law courts that can declare his actions null and void not another arm of government from another tier of government. Just look at it. It is ridiculous. Very ridiculous.
These people must learn to appreciate the principle of separation of powers. Right now the national assembly is acting as an agent of destabilisation and the good people of Edo State will not accept that. The good people of Edo State will stand by the truth and it will always prevail because no man is God.
We hear that the governor is already hobnobbing with the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP
That’s a very ridiculous thing to say. How do they define that? Don’t they interact at the national assembly right now? So, people cannot exchange pleasantries any more? People should become enemies overnight just because they belong to different political parties? Membership of a political party is only a platform to seek actualisation of your ambition and so you can also implement the policies and programmes of your party towards engendering a better society.