BY SIMON EBEGBULEM, GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE & Esther Onyegbula
BENIN—THE crisis rocking Edo State House of Assembly degenerated, yesterday, with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, members and their All Progressives Congress, APC, counterparts, holding parallel sessions in front of the main entrance to the Assembly complex.
While the APC legislators’ session, presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Uyi Igbe, adjourned sitting to Wednesday next week, the PDP legislators, at their session presided over by the suspended Deputy Speaker, Mr. Festus Ebea, adjourned plenary to Monday.
Mr. Kabiru Adjoto of APC, who announced the adjournment of his faction’s session, said that the House will resume plenary on Wednesday next week and cautioned security details at the Assembly against letting any lawmaker into the complex until sitting resumes.
The PDP faction was presided over by the suspended Deputy Speaker, Ebea and they covered their heads with PDP customized umbrellas. They spent about 10 minutes deciding what to do about plenary.
Mr. Friday Ogierhiakhi thereafter, announced that they will resume sitting on Monday, June 30, 2014.
Earlier, there was drama when the PDP lawmakers wanted to use an umbrella with PDP logo to protect themselves during the early morning rain, as their APC counterparts protested. The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Philip Shaibu, said that it was sort of a campaign, which according to him was not proper.
Meanwhile, the Edo State APC caucus in the House of Representatives, yesterday threatened that the House of Representatives may take over the affairs of the Edo State House of Assembly, if the current crisis rocking the House was not resolved soon.
The caucus, in a statement by Samson Osagie (Minority Whip), Razaq Bello-Osagie, Pally Iriase, Jim Adun, Isaac Nosa Osahon and Peter Akpatason, commended the Oba of Benin for intervening in the matter, but called on the police to execute the order of the state High Court, which restrained the four suspended lawmakers from entering the Assembly premises.
Meantime, the elders forum of the APC in Esan South-East constituency of Edo State, has disowned the embattled Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mr Festus Ebea, describing him as an ingrate.
On its part, the APC caucus in the House of Reps in a statement, said: “As lawmakers, we all owe the institution a duty not to bring it into disrepute by obeying the rules of the parliament and all valid orders made by a court of competent jurisdiction, when they are called to intervene in any matter involving the actions of the legislature.
“We call on the members of Edo State House of Assembly, especially those against whom an order was made to respect such orders no matter how dissatisfied they are with the order.”