…Body assures of fairness based on constitutional provisions
Senate fact-finding Committee on the crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly has arrived in Benin City with a promise to ensure stability and peace in the Assembly, even as the State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has blamed his predecessor and national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, for failure to properly ascertain the kernel of issues in the Assembly as a reason for the lingering crisis in the state.
Chairman of the seven-man committee of the Senate, Senator Aliyu, Kabiru Abdullahi, (Niger North senatorial district) who led other members during their visit said the body had the onerous task of unraveling the issues surrounding the crisis with a view to bringing all the parties amicably together.
He disclosed that the committee while in the state would visit all the key stakeholders with a view to ascertaining the relevant facts and presenting its report within the time frame specified by the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
Receiving members of the committee in Government House, Governor Obaseki, attributed the crisis to the obvious failure of the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to properly address the salient issues that led to the crisis.
He thanked the Senate for the visit to the state and explained that the crisis could not have degenerated to the level it was at the moment if the national leadership of the APC had done the right thing when the matter started.
Obaseki stated that he had performed his constitutional duty by issuing a proclamation letter and that the Clerk of the House undertook the processes as deemed fit, adding that they were issues within the legislature and they had gone to the judiciary as the constitution provides for a clear separation of powers.
”When people arbitrarily make up their minds because of some predetermined outcomes and make statements and conduct themselves, this is what it leads to. I issued a proclamation. Consultations were held before the proclamation was issued. Various party organs met before decisions were reached. As far as I am concerned, I abided by the constitution and issued a proclamation. I believe in the separation of powers.
“Whatever the outcome, we expected that if a higher authority were concerned about the fate of this state, they would have called to see how to resolve the issue but that wasn’t done. The matter has moved to court and all parties are in court. I have done my own bit. Within the legislature, there are issues and they have gone to the judiciary and the constitution provides for a clear separation of powers.
“We have evidence that people are under pressure. Look at this matter in the interest of our country and in defence of our democracy,” Obaseki told the committee.
Responding, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Abdullahi, said the Senate was concerned about restoring peace and order as provided for in the constitution, pointing out that there was no clash with the House of Representatives Committee as their duties are seen as a function of the National Assembly.
“The civility of Edo people is not in doubt. Edo State has a long history of parliamentary civility. I think everybody who is a lover of this state will ensure that nothing short of that prevails. I want to assure you that we will do what the constitution allows us to do.
“The House of Representatives Committee was here and we are here because it is a bicameral legislature. Ours is to articulate and prepare the facts before colleagues. I know that the 109 senators will do justice to any matter before them. I assure you that we are out for the good of the state and its people,” Abdullahi said.
They committee also met the Speaker, Hon. Frank Okiye; the Clerk of the House, Alhaji Yahaya Omogbai and 11 other members of the House.