The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State of thwarting the democratic aspirations of the very people he claims to govern.
Reacting to the unfolding political development in the state, especially the blockade of the State House of Assembly and removal of its roof ostensibly for repairs, Tinubu said the governor “resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.”
Baseki’s actions, he added, “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.”
The APC Leader, in a statement entitled “IN DEFENCE OF CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY” 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 legislative function is, perhaps, the most foundational obligation of any government. In the UK, the Parliament was famously said to be “that supreme and absolute power, which gives life and motion to the English government”.
“In most democratic systems, the legislature is the arm of government containing within itself the people’s representatives in government. As such, the legislative arm is critical.
“It is an important symbol of democratic governance. The voice, will and desires of the people are reposed in their elected representatives sent to the legislature to express and distil their amorphous will into the laws and codes by which the society has agreed to live.
“In the context of a constitutional democracy such as ours, the legislature’s authority stems, in effect, from the recognition that it is the authentic mouthpiece of the people, entrusted with the responsibility of representing their collective will and the power to interpret and mould it into the laws of the land.
“It is, in short, not to be toyed with as a plaything of an errant and ill-disciplined governor. Undermine the legislature and you imperil democracy and allow governance to descend into anarchy.”
Continuing,Tinubu said: “Indeed, it is no coincidence that of the three arms of government, the powers of the legislature are enumerated first, in our Constitution. The legislature is the authority imbued with the power to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the federation and states.
“Indeed, the Constitution makes clear that a Governor’s role primarily extends to the maintenance and implementation of the laws set down for him by his state’s legislature.
“In placing himself above the legislature, deciding who gets in and who is shut out, Governor Obaseki not only places himself above our nation’s constitutional order, he places himself above the people of Edo State whose representatives he so brazenly tramples upon.
“One can only wonder, given the desperation with which he has acted and his belligerent refusal to honour the free choice of the people of his own state, what mortal offence the majority members he has shut out have committed to warrant such treatment.
“Although Governor Obaseki’s conduct in the past year is undoubtedly impeachable, these legislators have made no threat to impeach the Governor. Their only desire is to peacefully perform the duties asked of them by the constituents who elected them.
“What, then, is their offence? By all appearances, the Governor is punishing these legislators for their loyalty to a party that is no longer his own. 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.
“In his campaign for re-election, Governor Obaseki promises to represent and defend the interests of all the people of his state. Yet, so blinded is he by his personal ambition, he sees no irony in the fact that his actions have denied two-thirds of the people of his state their right to representation in the state’s only legislative chamber.
“Governor Obaseki must think the people of his state to be as foolhardy and ignorant as he, for even as he courts their votes, he continues to make a mockery of the institution of democracy in his own House of Assembly.
“If Governor Obaseki believes the people are not aware of this inherent irony, he will undoubtedly learn the cost of this grave miscalculation in the fullness of time.
“The rule of law and preservation of democracy is too important to sacrifice at the altar of any one man’s ambition.
“Governor Obaseki’s woeful leadership of Edo State will hopefully be brought to an end soon by the very people whose rights he has so carelessly trampled upon. One can only hope that the damage he is doing to the most important of the state’s democratic institutions can just as easily be repaired.”
No More APC, What Is Left Is Just Respect For Buhari –Okorocha
A founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has said that only respect for President Muhammadu Buhari is all that is left of the APC and that the crisis rocking the party was part of consequences for relegating the founding members.
The Fidelinfo gathered that Okorocha who addressed some journalists on Sunday in Abuja said that there is no more APC.
In the address, he Said:
“Permit me to give you the inside of APC, this word APC was formed by four major political parties that had governors, one was the CPC led by President Muhammadu Buhari, ACN led by Ahmed Tinubu, ANPP led by Ogbonnaya Onu who all brought their structure, APGA led by me brought in our structure. Every other person fell into this structure. The PDP group came in and joined us. I gave the name APC. I designed that logo and that was the beginning of the party and we had understanding.
“That is the party you call APC and unless we go back to where it all started, APC can never see the light of the day and that was how we started and that was what brought President Muhammadu Buhari to office.
“You cannot rule out the role of these four key people, then CPC has only one governor in Nasarawa, APGA had only one governor, ACN came with the chunk of the governors and ANPP had a few. And we shared the first positions equally among these four parties. Now the founding fathers of the part are relegated to the backgrounds and people are coming with different interests making us play the same kind of politics that PDP played,” Okorocha said.
He added, “There is no more APC, what we have is the respect for President Muhammadu Buhari, that is what is keeping us together. What we have is our respect for the person of President Buhari and we still believe that something can be done.
“That trust and respect is what we still call APC, outside that, respect for President Buhari and the trust and belief that he could wake up one day and correct all these injustices and make it fine. That is the only thing that is keeping the APC, if not that, I don’t think there is anything like APC because people are beginning to get fed up. Again, PDP is not even better, the party has its own challenges.
Edo Decides: They’re Rigging Me Out In My Strongholds -Gov Obaseki
The incumbent Governor of Edo State and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the ongoing Gubernatorial elections has through Crusoe Osagie, his Special Adviser, has cried out that “there is an ongoing deliberate election manipulation in areas where he has strongholds.
The Fidelinfo gathered that this revelation was in a statement made available to the press by Osagie his press secretary, he said:
“Suddenly, card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.
“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage,”
“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”
JUST IN: Akeredolu’s Political Adviser Resigns
The senior special assistant to the executive governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu on Political matters has resigned.
Andrew who is from Ondo South senatorial districts, Hon. Andrew Ogunsakin has resigned his Appointment.
Andrew according to The Fidelinfo source was a close Political associate of former governor Olusegun Mimiko and the Zenith Labour Party candidate for Okitipupa/Irele Federal constituency in the last general election before he joined the All Progressive Congress.
In a letter made available to The Fidelinfo reads in parts: “The call of my constituents on me to join the train to actualize a common aspiration different from what is offered by your government and party stands as the root of my decision to quit at this point.”
He then thanked Akeredolu for the opportunity afforded him to serve the good peopie of Ondo State as political adviser.
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