The Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, has described the take over of the Assembly Complex by the police as no cause for alarm.
The Speaker, who spoke to journalists on Thursday amidst unconfirmed report of his impeachment by elements loyal to All Progressives Congress (APC) and its sacked national chairman Adams Oshiomhole, showed no sign of any such development as state of things in Benin City as the time of filing this report presented him as the man in charge.
Earlier on Thursday, some pro-Oshiomhole social media users had posted that Governor Godwin Obaseki was now at the mercy of Oshiomhole as the Speaker, according to them, had been impeached.
But The DEFENDER’s careful checks in the Edo State capital said such claim was only a figment of imagination of the purveyors.
Rather, supporters of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were seen beating drums and singing songs of support for the pro-Obaseki lawmakers vowing that they would never allow any undemocratic thing to happen to the Assembly.
A report has earlier said the lImo State Governor Hope Uzodinma and Oshiomhole had concluded plan with the impeached deputy speaker to invade with a view to taking the control of the Assembly.
We gathered that, “What happened in Edo Assembly in Wednesday to the deputy speaker is only a familiar occurrence. The deputy speaker, Yekini Idiaye, was accused if revealing secret of government in power to oppositiin APC. And the moment he endorsed the APC candidate Ize-Iyamu he was impeached, which was exactly the offence he was believed to have committed.
“But it is a familiar occurrence. Don’t forget that under Oshiomhole as governor, he even went and removed the roof of the House so that it would not function. So, there is no cause for alarm. There are elected lawmakers who are not inaugurated but are sitting somewhere. If these are strength of APC and Oshiomhole, it will be unfortunate. Yesterday when the deputy speaker was impeached, they were the only seven active that did it. But, like I said, it is a familiar occurrence. The only thing we should ensure is that there should be no violence during the coming election,” the source said.
The Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, had yesterday given the reason his deputy, Yekinu Idiaye, was impeached on Wednesday.
He said Idiaye was impeached because he allegedly planned with the leaders of the APC and the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, “to illegally and violently take over” the Assembly.
The Assembly had earlier impeached Idiaye during plenary on Wednesday and immediately replaced him with the member representing Orhionmwon II Constituency, Hon. Roland Asoro.
Idiaye and some lawmakers had on Monday pledged their support for the APC governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The Speaker, in an address aired via social media shortly after the impeachment of Idiaye, called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to call members of his party to order.
The address was titled, ‘The Urgent Need To Call The Imo State Governor and Leaders Of APC In Edo State To Order Over Their Plan To Violently And Illegally Takeover The Edo State House Of Assembly’.
Speaking during the address monitored by our correspondent, Okiye said, “We have it on good authority, the dubious plans by the governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, and the stakeholders of APC in Edo State to import a fake maze to take over the Edo State House of Assembly working in cohort with the former deputy speaker who recently declared his support for the governorship candidate of APC to congregate in a separate location to illegally and violently take over the Edo State House of Assembly as brought to our notice.
“And so, we call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the presidency to urgently call this governor and others working with him to execute this illegal plan to desist and allow the laws of the state to guide them.
“The state polity is already heated up by the political tension from the various electioneering campaign. Their planned action is likened to lightening a match in an already tensed political environment which conflagration is capable of causing crisis in the state and may scale beyond imagination.
“We call on Edo State people, whose mandate and interest the state legislature holds and protect, to rise against this attack and plot to subvert their will and subjugate them using external forces.
“We urge lovers of democracy across the world and institutions that uphold democracy and value, as well as pro-democracy groups to denounce this planned illegality that seems to distract a duly constituted authority.
“We recognize the constitutional rights of the three members of the Assembly to support the candidate of their choice but that should not distract them from coming to work to carry out the job for which they were elected and become an agent of mutiny against their own primary constituencies.
“We are as always committed to protecting the democratic rights of our people as the legislature remains the sacred institution in the democratisation process signed by my honourable self on behalf of the Edo State House of Assembly.”
With about six weeks to the September 19 governorship election in Edo, the political atmosphere gets turbo-charged day after day.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will face Ize-Iyamu of the APC, and other political contenders.