A top chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has accused governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state, of committing an impeachable offence for denying 14 elected members of the House of Assembly from being inaugurated for over a year.
In a statement on Friday, the National leader of the ruling party noted that Obaseki has turned himself into a dictator by causing the crisis rocking the Edo Assembly. Tinubu added that the governor also frustrated the inauguration of the APC lawmakers by allegedly mobilising thugs to prevent them from accessing the assembly complex.
The former Lagos state governor also alleged that Obaseki is working against the interest of Edo people and has squandered the public money to defeat the very will of the public.
“The recent actions of the Governor of Edo State represent the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern,” he said.
“Not satisfied with making a mockery of our constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, Governor Obaseki has now resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.
“First, he sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin, feigning the building is undergoing renovation. Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex. In effect, the man has spent state funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold. He has squandered public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.
“As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo. No renovation has been planned for the state house building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.
“Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order. By his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties, Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.”
The APC national leader said the governor has placed himself above the legislature, “deciding who gets in and who is shut out”.
He said it is clear that Obaseki is punishing the lawmakers for their loyalty to the APC, adding that: “If every governor behaves as he, obstructing the performance of any legislator who does not pledge to him their undying fealty, the entire edifice of democratic governance in Nigeria would grind to a complete halt.”Edo 2