‘National Assembly’s order to Obaseki undermines Edo’s sovereignty’
Cleric urges peace, political solution to crisis
Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the directive of the National Assembly to Governor Godwin Obaseki over the Edo House of Assembly debacle makes mockery of a state’s sovereignty enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He bared his mind during an interview preparatory to his 80th birthday in Benin City yesterday.His words: “What is happening is a mystery to me and for funny reasons, we have been unable to get the story behind the story. All I know is that we have a government and the voice of the people says Obaseki deserves all the support that he can get.
“If anyone wants to remove him and destabilise the state, it is wrong. The governor is delivering good governance to the people. They should wait until the party primary. I call on everyone to continue to support the governor.”
The state’s first civilian chief executive appealed to all to be law-abiding and respect the nation’s law book.“The issue in contention is before a competent court of law. Thank God we have a constitution that binds everybody. I am amazed that the National Assembly or anybody would issue instructions to a sovereign governor. I am shocked and amazed but I believe that in the coming weeks and months, the law will prevail,” he said.
Odigie-Oyegun reiterated that as an ex-governor and erstwhile chair of the ruling political party, he never interfered in the internal affairs of Edo. He added: “I have never interfered in the running of the state but strangely, same is not the case and it is sad as people fail to realise we have two sovereignties: that of the president which reflects the nation and also the governors’ that reflects the state. Anyone that fights the governor undermines the sovereignty of the people of the state.”
On Obaseki’s stewardship, the politician noted: “The governor has done well. This has led to the general approval of his performance by the people. I have experienced it and people have talked to me about it as well. This is the reality on ground. Anywhere I go, there are these positive vibes about his accomplishments. Obaseki is bringing progress to forgotten areas of the state.”
However, the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bendel and Bishop of the Diocese of Esan, Anglican Communion, The Most Revd Friday Imaekhai, has advised parties in the dispute to remain peaceful while the court handles the matter.
Reacting to the directive by the federal legislature to the governor asking him to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the Edo House, the cleric held that since the matter was already before a court of law, it behooves all the litigants to allow peace reign by maintaining the status quo. He, however, canvassed a political solution to the impasse.
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