As the seats of Edo State House of Assembly members-elect who have remained in Abuja and refused to be inaugurated were declared vacant on Wednesday, December 4, by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, affected constituents and party chieftains have hailed the move, noting that the lack of representation for about 6 months had deprived them of the benefits of democracy.
A cross-section of the affected chieftains and constituents, who spoke to journalists, said the move is a welcome development as it would pave the way for the re-election of persons who are willing and ready to represent the interest of the people.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Charles Idahosa, who hails from Uhunmwonde, one of the seats affected by the recent development, said it was regrettable that the members-elect chose to stay away from the House because of their selfish interests and in the process, deprived their people of credible representation in the House.
According to him, “It is a well-known fact that the House is made up of 24 members elected under the APC, to serve their people. Those who decided to stay away have been shown the exit door and it is the right thing to do since the people were starved of credible representation.”
On his part, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha, who represented Oredo East in the 6th Assembly, said the development shows that members of the Assembly are truly on the side of the people as they have thought it wise to declare the seats vacant so that well-meaning persons can take up the mantle of leadership and represent them.
Mr. Ibrahim Azeez from Etsako Central said the declaration by the House was in order, noting that people in his community have never supported the idea of absconding from the House, when there was serious legislative work to be done.
He added, “I am very delighted with the move. The House has shown that it has a mind of its own and that members of the Assembly have the interest of the people at heart.”