Obaseki: Someone Scheming to Use State Lawmakers to Control Me

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Godwin Obaseki
•  I have waded into Edo House crisis but it keeps escalating, says Oba of Benin 
By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday said that the crisis in the state House of Assembly was the handiwork of somebody who wanted to use the lawmakers to control him.

Also yesterday, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II told the House of Representatives adhoc committee members assigned the responsibility of resolving the Edo State House of Assembly crisis that he had tried to wade into the crisis himself but it kept escalating.
Obaseki, who spoke through his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, when the Committee visited the state, also said the inauguration of 7th Edo Assembly followed due process.
He said other lawmakers-elect decided to remain in Abuja and were not available for inauguration.
According to Obaseki, the current crisis was history repeating itself, as 15 PDP lawmakers also cried to the National Assembly in 2010 for possible takeover of the Edo State House of Assembly.
He said he was following the path of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who taught them to fight godfathers and use the money to work for the people.
Obaseki, who insisted there was no going back on the crusade against godfatherism, said some demands of the lawmakers-elect could only be resolved if they were sworn-in.
According to him, “What we have here is somebody trying to use the house to control the executive. We feel that we have fought godfatherism. Oshiomhole led us to a strong fight to rescue the state from the hands of godfathers in 2006.
“We have joined the crusade Oshiomhole started in 2007. We will not go back on the crusade because it is helping Edo people. We can now galvanise the people because they can see roads, they can see schools and infrastructure. This is because the money that used to go to the godfathers now go to the people.
“That is the path Oshiomhole gave to us and we have sworn not to depart from it. Oshiomhole has taught us to follow the path of the people. He told us to do the needful and make sure we fight the godfathers and take the money back to the people. That is what he taught us and we will not depart from it.
“Those ones have not been sworn in and they decided to abscond. I have contacted them and some of them told me certain things. I said we will deal with them. I said they must be members of the assembly first before the discussion will take place.
“Somebody is interested in derailing them and the reality on ground. They are not elected to serve in Abuja. They should come to be sworn in first. I can assure you that I will bridge the gap between the governor and the legislature. We need peace because we want to turn Edo to investment hub.”
At the House of Assembly where the committee met with Speaker Frank Okiye, other lawmakers, and the Clerk of the Assembly, Alhaji Yayaha Audu Omogbai, said 11 lawmakers-elect have not presented relevant documents.
Omogbai said the inauguration took place at 3:30pm and not 9pm at night, adding that he decided to carry out the inauguration because of tension in the state.
He said only nine members presented themselves for swearing in despite the fact that he sent messages to 13 of them that were ready.
Reacting to the lingering crisis, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, yesterday, told the House of Representatives adhoc committee members, who paid him a courtesy visit that he waded into the affair but that it was unsuccessful.
He said when his attention was drawn to the crisis rocking the state house of assembly by some of his palace chiefs, he decided to step in immediately by inviting the parties involved, Governor Obaseki and the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on separate occasions, with a view to resolving it but that the crisis kept escalating.
According to the Oba, “Like I told President Buhari, I have on my own been talking to both parties concerned; Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki on separate occasions but things have kept on escalating very fast.”
He said he had also personally reported the matter to President Muhammadu Buhari so that he could call both parties together and resolve the issues rocking the state House of Assembly.
In spite of this, Oba Ewuare II said he was even planning to invite both parties involved again when he heard that the House of Representatives had been mandated to wade in.
“I was still planning to see both of them when I heard the House of Representative has set up an ad-hoc committee to look into the issue,” adding that the task before the adhoc committee was onerous and prayed that God and the ancestors lead them aright for peace to be restored to the state.
Chairman of the Committee, Abdulrazak Namdas, said there was hope that the issues would be resolved.
“We have spoken to relevant people involved in this crisis and all of them are willing and have given us their support. They are willing to sit down and say these things should come to an end.”
Earlier, House of Representatives adhoc committee members, led by its chairman, said that they were in the state to look into the crisis in the state house of assembly and promised to be fair to the aggrieved parties.
The adhoc committee, which later met with the nine members of the state assembly, the clerk of the house, Alhaji Yahaya Omogbai, and the deputy governor of Edo State, told journalists at the airport that they were in the state to investigate the crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly.
Chairman of the committee said: “We are here as a committee that has been put up by the House of Representatives to come and investigate the crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly with a view to having a lasting solution to the problem. And we are here, I am chairman of the committee and entire members of the committee; we are trying to make a fact finding and make recommendations to the honourable members.
“We are going to meet the stakeholders, clerk of the house and all the people that are expected to be seen; we need to see them today and then go back to Abuja and then conclude over there.”
He added: “We have started the process already and you know this committee has been given just a week; we have met with the governor of the state; we have met with other members of the house of assembly from Edo state that are in Abuja and we are going to meet with the remaining ones that are here in Edo, and the clerk and other stakeholders. I think that is all that we are here for and it is almost over.”
On the insinuation that the committee was being teleguided by some persons, Namdas said: “Who should teleguide us; we are men of integrity; we are also politicians in our own rights, we have track records to prove. We have also men that you can never question their characters; so the issue of anybody teleguiding us does not arise and we have not given any report, so, why the insinuation? Nothing is happening.”