Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki has said he will not recognise the factional Speaker of the House of Assembly, Victor Edoror.
Obaseki who spoke in Benin on Friday while reacting to the endorsement of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the September 19 governorship election, said he is not worried by the endorsement.
Obaseki said the President, as the leader of the APC, was free to support his party’s candidate.
He said: “I cannot speak for the President; he’s a due-process man. He strikes me as somebody who wants the process to follow its due course. The President is a member of the APC. Why would he not receive his party’s candidate?”
The governor said he would not recognise the 17 lawmakers, describing the AGF’s directive to the IGP as illegal and a recipe for anarchy.
“How can I recognise them? There is a law we have to follow, otherwise we will have to be like a banana republic,” he added.
Obaseki, however, described as hilarious claims by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State that he (Obaseki) performed woefully.
“If he (Ganduje) says all the physical structures, all the roads we have built, are underperformance, I see why he can never be governor. If he says reforming the educational system in Edo State, which is acknowledged worldwide, is underperformance, then he cannot be governor. Edo is not Lagos. We will see on September 19,” he added.
In a related development, in an open letter to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, via an advertorial in The PUNCH on Friday, the speaker of the faction loyal to Obaseki, Frank Okiye, said he was reluctant to conclude that the “breathtaking speed” of his (the AGF’s) speed of response to West-Idahosa’s letter had anything to do with the fact that the governor had left the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In highlighting the pending and concluded litigation on the Edo Assembly crisis, Okiye said it was clear that all matters relating to the functioning or otherwise of the Assembly and/or its members are sub judice.
“It would therefore be clear that the course of action which you have urged upon the Inspector-General of Police would in fact amount to a grievous assault on the rule of law, separation of powers and respect for judicial authority,” he said
He urged the AGF not to allow his prestigious office to cause mayhem in the state, adding that he should take urgent steps to ensure the situation does not degenerate further.
Okiye also said he remains the speaker of the House, adding that till date, only 10 members of the Assembly had been sworn in.
“We adjourned till Monday, August 10, 2020 and on Monday, we will sit. So, those people that are no longer members of the House going somewhere to conduct a get-together and come out to say they have a resolution, that they are now members of the parliament, I see that as an affront on the democratic principles,” Okiye added.
It would be recalled that the 14 elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly who were not sworn in since the inauguration of the Assembly in 2019 wrote to Malami, highlighting the alleged infractions of Obaseki.
The letter prompted Malami to order the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to provide security for the lawmakers for their inauguration and subsequent sittings.
The lawmakers were inaugurated on Thursday at a private location in Benin city and elected Victor Edoror and Emmanuel Agbaje as speaker and deputy speaker respectively.