BY IDOWU BANKOLE
Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr Frank Okiye, has said that the current crisis rocking the state legislature was a smokescreen by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, to eventually deny the state Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, of a second term.
Fielding questions from newsmen on the crisis rocking the state legislature, the speaker said the planned takeover of the state Assembly by the Senate was capable of destabilising Edo State, adding that the Red Chamber should act as agents of peace and not merchants of crisis. He said: “The truth is that the Edo State Assembly and my office as the speaker are not the real targets of this crisis. The plot is actually aimed at Governor Obaseki, and the endpoint is to stop him from getting a return ticket as governor next year.
“Oshiomhole is actually after Obaseki. The state Assembly was only a smokescreen to cover his plans. The idea now is to take over the House, destabilize the state and possibly impeach the governor. The Edo Peoples Movement that originated this crisis has boasted that they will ensure that the governor does not come back for a second tenure.” Noting that the threat of takeover from the National Assembly was part of the grand plot of Oshiomhole, who was the immediate past governor of the state, Okiye said: “I have said it before on several occasions that we know who is beating the drum for them in the National Assembly. They have found themselves in the position of a stooge to make it look like they cannot think outside the box, it’s unfortunate, Obaseki is the target.” he concluded.
Urging his aggrieved colleagues to come over to the Assembly and regularized their documents as lawmaker elect, the Assembly Speaker said plenary activities are in full swing as lawmakers are considering bills, screening commissioners and aides and other legislative activities. “We have been sitting as a parliament. I just drove out office after the plenary session. Lawmakers are going about their committee work. We just invited Commissioner for Works, nominated by Obaseki, to appear before the House over a matter of public importance. “The door is open for the remaining lawmaker-elect, they should come to Assembly, complete and regularize their documentation and they will be sworn in. “The constitution says when the House is unable to sit, that means when it cannot perform the function it was supposed to perform. And this notification was supposed to be given or declared by the governor who will say that there is no one to clear my commissioners, oversee my legislative requests and so on. That was what the constitution contemplated, not the National Assembly sitting over a state Assembly as if we are a colony under them.
Speaking on the next line of action, he said, “We are in court; we have sued them and got two separate injunctions and we are going to cite all the cases in court on the pages of newspapers. The other twelve member-elect has also sued and challenged the legitimacy of my speakership. “So, which means all the parties in this issue have cases in court already. We have a restraining order against the National Assembly, against the security agencies, against the party and their agents. So, why is the National Assembly trying to usurp the function of the court?” he said