The Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria has condemned the recent ‘siege’ on Edo State House of Assembly.
This was contained in a statement signed by Chairman of the group and Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, on Saturday.
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While reacting to the incident, the group alleged that the siege were carried out by thugs loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki.
According to the Conference of Speakers, “the removal of the roofs” of the hallowed Assembly is an injury to Nigeria’s democracy and must be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.
“It is sheer recklessness and a proof of dictatorship for a governor who is supposed to be the head of the executive arm of government to decide to take charge of another arm through questionable means like it happened in Edo.
“There were reports linking the removal of the roof and the offloading of gravel at the complex to purported plans by the government to renovate the Assembly but we think this is an afterthought,” the statement read.
Security operatives had, on Thursday morning, took over the state assembly complex with patrol vehicles stationed around the area.
The deputy speaker of the state assembly, Yekini Idiaye, was removed on Wednesday barely 48 hours after he threw his weight behind the candidature of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the September governorship election in the state.
The roof of the assembly was also removed “for renovation” as it was alleged that some 14 members of the assembly were planning to impeach the Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Obasa’s comment unfortunate – Osagie
While reacting, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, described as “unfortunate, comments by the Lagos Speaker.
According to Osagie, “Obasa lacks independence of thought and controlled by the Lagos godfather. Nigerians should ignore the views canvassed by him with regard to developments in Benin City, because he is merely amplifying the views of his pay master and godfather.
Osagie noted: “We understand the frustration of trying to please an overbearing godfather, but the point must be made that posterity will judge everyone who occupies a position of trust. While the godfather will not live forever, our roles in history will remain indelible in the sands of time.”
“His pro-Lagos godfather leaning has distorted his understanding of the issues in the Edo State House of Assembly, even when the facts stare at him in the face.
“It is disheartening that the chairman of speakers in Nigeria, whose mandate is to among other things, defend democracy, its values and structures, such as the legislature, which he claims he represents, is trying to find justification for the coup that took place in Benin City by members of his party.”
The governor’s aide reminded Obasa that “our democracy stands on a tripod, with clear separation of duties for the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature,” and urged him “to refrain from dragging Governor Obaseki into the business of the legislative arm of government.”
He advised the lawmaker to use his “position to work for the good of Nigerians, particularly, the strengthening of our nascent democracy and not to always pander to the whims and caprices of political godfathers, even when evidence shows that they are clearly wrong about an issue.”