Edo House Of Assembly ‘Sacks’ 12 Lawmakers-Elect

The political crisis in the Edo state has
degenerated further with the state House of
Assembly declaring vacant the seats of 12
lawmakers-elect yet to be inaugurated.

All the 24 state legislators in Edo are members
of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The deputy speaker of the assembly, Yekini
Idiaye, told journalists in Benin that the
resolution to declare the seats vacant was
reached during plenary on Wednesday.

The seats declared vacant are Etsako West I,
Etsako West II, Owan East, Owan West, Etsako
Central, Etsako East and Esan Central.
Others are Uhunmwonde, Oredo East, Oredo
West, Egor, Ovia North East I, Ovia North East
II and Ovia South-west I.

Mr Idiaye said the members representing
Oredo East and Owan East state constituencies,
who were sworn-in, failed to meet the
mandatory 181-day sitting requirement for a
member in a calendar year.
Mr Idiaye said the other affected members
failed to present themselves for the
inauguration.

“Their constituents have been complaining and
have come to us that they want their voices
and concerns to be heard at the House. So,
people who are willing to provide quality
representation have to be elected to bring the
matters of the distraught constituents to the
floor for debate and legislation, where
necessary,” he said.
Tussle

The 12 lawmakers were among the 15 excluded
from the controversial inauguration of the state
assembly in June because of the power-tussle
between the national chairman of the APC,
Adams Oshiomhole, and the Edo governor,
Godwin Obaseki.

Nine out of 24 lawmakers met at night to
inaugurate the assembly and elect a speaker,
Frank Okiye.

Their exclusion of the others, PREMIUM TIMES
learnt, was to prevent Mr Oshiomhole’s
loyalists from taking control of the state
legislature.

The 12 lawmakers-elect have been since fled to
Abuja for fear of their safety.
One of the affected lawmakers-elect,
Washington Osifo, accused Mr Obaseki of
“bringing back gangsterism” into the state
politics.

“I have told people, this is not the governor I
used to know,” Mr Osifo, who was elected to
represent Uhunmwode State Constituency, told
PREMIUM TIMES, in July.

“The governor I used to know when he came
(into power) was against any form of
gangsterism.

“But because he is now gunning for a second
term, all those things he came out to condemn,
he is now the one welcoming them – arrogance,
gangsterism – he has brought them back into
the system,” Mr Osifo said.

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