The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the controversies that trailed the inauguration of the Edo and Bauchi States House of Assembly, Igbere TV reports.
Igbere TV had reported that 9 members-elect out of 24 members of the Edo State House of Assembly, on Tuesday about 10:22pm, ‘elected’ a new Speaker, Frank Okiye and Deputy Speaker, Yekini Idiaye.
Their election followed a secret inauguration of the 9 members who are said to be loyalists of Governor Godwin Obaseki, while the rest 15 who are loyalists of the party’s National Chairman and former governor, Adams Oshiomhole, were shut out.
In Bauchi, Igbere TV reports that 11 out of 31 lawmakers who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met at about 6am on Thursday and elected a new Speaker, Abubakar Suleiman.
The rest 21 All Progressives Congress (APC) members who feel cheated, organised a parallel sitting and re-elected the former Speaker, Hon Kawuwu Damina, as Speaker.
In a statement made available to Igbere TV on Thursday night, the APC described the development as a “huge joke” and “an embarrassment.”
The statement which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu said the party would explore all democratic means available to ensure that the right thing is done.
It said every elected lawmaker has a legitimate right to participate unhindered in the inauguration of the legislative arm in which he belongs.
The APC, therefore, called on the Governors of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed to urgently do the needful by issuing a proper letter of proclamation to allow for the lawful inauguration of the respective state House of Assembly and subsequent election of presiding officers.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) condemns the charade being presented as the inauguration of new State Houses of Assembly in Edo and Bauchi States.
We viewed this illegality with shock and disappointment. As a party that has made a commitment to change, we strongly reject any attempt to take a recourse to brigandage of the past, when democratic practices were defined by the inordinate whims of people in power. Democracy must be governed by the rule of law. A situation where 11 lawmakers in the 31-member Bauchi State House of Assembly and nine lawmakers in the 24-member Edo State House of Assembly were secretly ‘inaugurated’ and purportedly ‘elect’ principal officers behind closed doors is a joke and an embarrassment. It is an unfortunate reminder of PDP’s queer brand of democracy. Practices like this are unacceptable under APC-led administration. As a party that is committed to higher ideals, we would use all democratic means necessary to ensure the right thing is done.
Perhaps the actors in the inauguration sham in Edo and Bauchi States need to be reminded of the recent and widely-commended election of presiding officers in the newly-inaugurated 9th National Assembly. Our party has set new standards in party politics by upstaging the rule of force, while upholding the rule of law.
It needs restating that every elected lawmaker has a legitimate right to participate unhindered in the inauguration of the legislative arm in which he belongs. The plot to arm-twist the majority in favour of the minority in the legislative arm died with the defeat of the PDP in 2015.
We therefore call on the Governors of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed to urgently do the needful by issuing a proper letter of proclamation to allow for the lawful inauguration of the respective state House of Assembly and subsequent election of presiding officers in a transparent manner.