BY SIMON EBEGBULEM & GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—AS crisis continues to rock the Edo State House of Assembly, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, warned that market women and the youths of the state might help the police to execute the court order banning four House of Assembly members from entering the Assembly premises if the police, created by law, continued to flout court orders.
Oshiomhole spoke when addressing thousands of youths from Edo Central senatorial district who came to demand for the recall of the suspended Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Festus Ebea.
Oshiomhole lamented that democracy was being threatened in Edo State following the refusal of the police and the suspended lawmakers to obey the court order restraining them from the Assembly complex.
Calling for rescue
He said: “I have been watching the situation in the House of Assembly and it is very pathetic. The suspended lawmakers who went to court first have refused to obey the court order with the police watching. If I call Edo people to rescue democracy they will do so. If I call them to come and rescue me from these gangsters they will do so. Under the Police Act, the police have a duty to enforce court order, and the reason they are police is because of law.
If you remove the law that set up the police, there will be no police. If the police, who are a creation of law refuse to obey the law, refuse to obey court order, they are the ones who are behaving like the English turkey. I cannot be governor if there is break down of law and order and the police can no longer function as police.
“I want to appeal, and ask you to also appeal, to the police to obey the law and obey court order. Democracy is a celebration of the rule of law. People are saying this matter should be settled. Do you settle a matter by disobeying court order? I watched them on television abusing the bailiff when they were served court order. When they threw the court summon at the bailiff, saying it was nonsense, the police were watching them.
“As we speak, we have enough security challenge in Nigeria. Ambitious politicians should not export crisis to Edo State. This state is greater than any one of us; it is greater than the god father, the police and all of us. I am committed to ensuring that the business in taking Edo to the next level cannot be compromised by this distraction. Edo State under my stewardship will continue to carry development to every part of Esanland. Very soon we will release promotions to our civil servants and we will take development to the next level.”
Meanwhile, the crisis rocking the state House of Assembly took a dramatic turn yesterday, when a group, Edo Assembly Parliament and Civil Society Organization, held a mock plenary session at the forecourt of the Assembly complex and passed a vote of no confidence on the lawmakers.
The group which converged at the gate to the Assembly complex, with its Speaker and Principal Officers, went with a mace, a Sergeant-at-Arms and representatives of state constituencies. It sat for about 30minutes and thereafter summoned the state governor, to appear before it today to explain the re-awarded Central Hospital building project
Speaking with newsmen, Mr. Curtis Igbo, who acted as the Speaker, said they took over the constitutional responsibility of the elected parliamentarians as citizens of Edo State since the lawmakers no longer represented the interest of the people.