BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—THE crisis rocking Edo State House of Assembly has taken a new dimension as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers have challenged the state governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole and their colleagues in the All Progressives Congress, APC, to subscribe to an oath at the Ogun-Oba shrine in the palace of the Oba of Benin, over the allegation that they received N50 million to defect to PDP.
Addressing newsmen in Benin, yesterday, the eight PDP lawmakers in the House, including the factional Speaker, Mr. Festus Ebea, accused the state government of blackmailing and inciting the youths and market women against them.
Spokesman for the lawmakers, Mr. Patrick Osayimwen, said that it was unfortunate that the governor had resorted to the current tactics after he invited him and Mr. Jude Ise-Idehen to his office on May 10, 2014 and alleged that the governor offered them millions of naira not to opt out of the APC merger, but they declined, though they assured him of their support for his developmental agenda.
Osayimwen, whose statement was endorsed by the PDP lawmakers, narrated the genesis of the crisis, saying, “ I did not collect N50 million or a kobo from President Goodluck Jonathan or anybody as alleged by Governor Oshiomhole, to join PDP.
“As a proud Bini man, who received inspiration passed on by my late father, I want to appeal to his Royal Majesty, the Oba of Benin, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom and all top palace chiefs to give me and Oshiomhole an opportunity to come to the palace of our royal father to swear before Ogun-Oba to validate the truth.
“I am prepared to swear before the gods of our land that if I collected a kobo from PDP as an incentive to join the party, let the gods of our land perish me and my offsprings. But the Oba of Benin should continue to bless and pray for me and my offspring if I am innocent.
“In the same vein, Oshiomhole should swear to the same oath that if he is sure about the accusation he has made, let the Oba of Benin bless him and his offspring, but if he lied, let the gods of our land perish him and his offsprings. I say this because only the guilty is afraid.”
Also speaking on the way out of the crisis, the Minority Whip of the Assembly, Mr. Kingsley Ehigiamusoe, appealed to his colleagues in the APC to see reason on why their ambition should not hold the state to ransom.