Tinubu speaks on factionalized assembly, accuses Obaseki of squandering Edo treasury

Bola Tinubu, has condemned the latest political development in Edo State, accusing governor Godwin Obaseki, of assaulting constitutional democracy in the state.

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The All Progressive Congress (APC) national leader remark is contained in a statement he signed on Friday, a day after lawmakers-elect of his party created a faction of the state legislature.

The lawmakers also impeached Frank Okiye, another lawmaker who heads a faction of lawmakers loyal to Mr Obaseki who is seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

This was not after their attempt to use the state assembly complex for their actions was thwarted by the timely arrival of state governor.

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In his reaction, the former Lagos State governor who did not react to a similar situation when his party carried out a similar action on the National Assembly in 2018, accused the PDP candidate in the September 19 guber election of squandering the treasury of the state unnecessarily and acting cowardly.

The statement of the APC chieftain wherein he said it was ‘in defense of constitutional democracy’ also lambasted the state governor, accusing him of instigating and escalating the political atmosphere in the state.

“The recent actions of the Governor of Edo State represent the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern,” Tinubu said.

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“Not satisfied with making a mockery of our constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, Governor Obaseki has now resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.

“First, he sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin, feigning the building is undergoing renovation. Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex.

“In effect, the man has spent state funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold. He has squandered public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.

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“As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo.

“No renovation has been planned for the state house building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.

“Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order. By his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties.

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“Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.

“Indeed, it is no coincidence that of the three arms of government, the powers of the legislature are enumerated first, in our Constitution.The legislature is the authority imbued with the power to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the federation and states.

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“Indeed, the Constitution makes clear that a Governor’s role primarily extends to the maintenance and implementation of the laws set down for him by his state’s legislature.

“Although Governor Obaseki’s conduct in the past year is undoubtedly impeachable, these legislators have made no threat to impeach the Governor. Their only desire is to peacefully perform the duties asked of them by the constituents who elected them.

“The rule of law and preservation of democracy is too important to sacrifice at the altar of any one man’s ambition. Governor Obaseki’s woeful leadership of Edo State will hopefully be brought to an end soon by the very people whose rights he has so carelessly trampled upon.

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“One can only hope that the damage he is doing to the most important of the state’s democratic institutions can just as easily be repaired,” he added.

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