The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have engaged in war of words over the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.
The Assembly has been engulfed in crisis since 2019,after the governor inaugurated 10 out of the 24 members of the House.
The crisis assumed a new twist on Wednesday when seven members impeached the deputy speaker, Hon. Yekini Idiaye. Also, 17 members, including the 14 lawmakers that have been absent from the House on Thursday impeached the speaker and new deputy speaker.
The development led to the closure of the Assembly complex by Governor Godwin Obaseki, who said the complex has been closed indefinitely for renovation after it was earlier taken over by the police.
But the APC has said Governor Obaseki was responsible for numerous siege to the Assembly complex.
A statement by the Chairman of the state Media Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki, also rubbished claims that its leadership “ferried police from Abuja” to block the Assembly complex.
The party accused the state government of carrying out several onslaughts against the constitutional independence of the legislative arm of government by attacking its members-elect and denying them representation.
“It is a known fact that Governor Obaseki has treated the House of Assembly, an independent and co-equal branch of government, as a mere extension of his office through the brutalisation of members-elect and the denial of representation to the majority of members.
“In a Gestapo style, the outgoing governor hijacked a tiny minority and purportedly inaugurated them in the dead of the night. The sham inauguration was condemned and set aside by both arms of the National Assembly after their separate investigations revealed that the members, and indeed the Clerk, were forced to participate in the illegality under threat to life.
“With these criminal antecedents, we believe if there is any unwholesome activity ongoing at the Assembly complex, it is Mr Godwin Obaseki who is in the best position to explain to the world what is going on and why. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, or the APC, does not control the Police,” he said.
The PDP has however accused the former national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole of allegedly deploying security agents to take over the House of Assembly.
The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated this charging the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to stop the attempt to take over the Assembly.
Ologbondiyan, in a statement, titled, ‘Stop invasion of Edo Assembly now’ said: “The party posits that the invasion and illegal occupation of the state legislature by security agents allegedly deployed by sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, is a direct coup against the democratic order of Edo State and a recipe for anarchy, chaos, and bloodletting.
“We urge the Inspector-General to act with dispatch to curb this nefarious situation, which has heightened tension in the state, and if not halted, may result in a bloody clash as the citizens are already charged to defend their symbol of democracy from a forceful takeover.
“The police hierarchy is urged to note that this provocative and lawless act by the APC is part of its plans to overheat the polity and create a security situation with the view to unleash violence on the people, derail the democratic order in the state and blame it on security agencies.“
Ologbondiyan also condemned what he referred to as “this notorious resort to self-help by the APC and their agents to forcefully take over power in Edo State through the back door.”
The party restated its call to the President Muhammadu Buhari to rein in Oshiomhole before he triggered a serious crisis in the state.
Also, the Edo State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Chris Nehikhare, in a statement titled, ‘Failed Assembly Takeover,’ said the plot to take over the Assembly was thwarted by the Edo people.