Edo Council boss says alleged suspension politically motivated
Ogunoroba-Ovia said the action, which also affected the secretary of the council, Mr Oyomire Idahosa, was a plot by some aggrieved leaders, in collaboration with five lawmakers of the council’s legislature, to stop his second term ambition.
Ogunrobo-Ovia stated this while briefing newsmen on the crisis rocking the council since Sept. 3.
It would be recalled that the Ovia South West council boss was suspended by the council’s lawmakers on Thursday over issues bothering on alleged fraud in the council’s internally generated revenue.
The council chairman alleged that the suspension was not only illegal, but that it also did not follow due process, in line with the Edo Local Government Law, 2000, as amended.
According to him, “Section 19 (9) states that the holder of the office (of chairman) under investigation shall not be suspended within the period of the investigation,’’ adding that he is still in charge as the elected chief executive officer of the local governmentcouncil.
He stated that it was unfortunate that “this is the same local government since I assumed office two years and some months ago that has not been found wanting in any way.
“Yet some people want to seize the opportunity to pull it down, despite the glaring developmental strides that cut across all the 10 wards of the council since the past two years and several months of my administration.
“I want to say clearly that the purported suspension did not follow due process at all and that the councillors do not have the authority under the law to suspend me.
“I make bold to say that you saw the extent of the developmental strides in Ovia South West, that there is no ward you go to that you will not see the presence of my administration.
“Is it schools, health centres, scholarship schemes? All these we have been able to put in place for the good people of Ovia South West local government.
“We are building a long lasting legacy for our people and because of the unprecedented political growth, as well as my profile, some people see this as an opportunity to want to bring me down.
“Well, I leave everything to God Almighty because God is the one who gives power and He that gave me the opportunity to serve the good people of Ovia South West will not let me down.”
Ogunoroba-Ovia said, “If there is an allegation against me, they are supposed to set up an independent body that they themselves are not supposed to be part of, to investigate the alleged issues.
“The independent body will investigate, after which they will now submit the report to the said councilors, for onward transmission to the state House of Assembly, for action.”
He urged the people of the area to maintain peace and continue to contribute their quota towards ensuring peaceful co-existence and the development of the council.
Ogunoroba-Ovia also urged them to shun attempts by forces to use them as tools for selfish political gains.
“We are in a democracy, freedom of speech but democracy is also not a license for political rascality.
“We should all be responsive to our people and we should ensure that we leave no stone unturned to contribute our quota to the well-being of our local government because the mandate that brought us into office is the mandate of the people.
“We owe the people a serious obligation to do the right thing that will further make lives more meaningful to them,” he said.
Also, one of the councillors representing the Nikorogha Ward, Mr Roberts Emeke-Fiyes, described the suspension of the council boss and the secretary as a gang up that was carried out by five of the councillors.
He alleged that they were being used by the aggrieved leaders in the area over their loss in the APC primaries during the March 28 general election in the country.
Emeke-Fiyes said: “We are not in support of it. I, as the councilor representing the Nikorogha ward and four others are against the purported suspension that was carried out on Friday.
“We, as councilors, do not have the rightto suspend the chairman; after the said investigation, we ought to send our report to the State House of Assembly.
“Some of us are being used by certain politicians, just because they lost primaries in the just-concluded general elections and that is the reason they are using the so called five councilors to tarnish the image of the chairman.
“I want to clear that what happened on Friday was the handiwork of just five councillors.
“Actually, the house received a petition against the Chairman, after which we set up a committee to look into the petition.
“Members of the committee brought their report to the council’s legislature, which did not indict the chairman, but the so called five councilors ganged up and threw away that report and instantly cooked up another report and that was the report the purported leader read out on Friday.
“So as I am talking to you, five of us are against the purported suspension of the council chairman and the secretary, which allegedly happened on Thursday,’’ he added.