By Gbenga Ariyibi
ADO-EKITI—The crisis rocking Ekiti State House of Assembly took a new dimension yesterday, as the 13 members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, vowed not to recognize the new Deputy Speaker, Mr Gbenga Odebunmi, alleging that they did not have an input on his appointment.
Odebunmi was elected the Deputy Speaker following the untimely death of Mr Saliu Adeoti recently after a brief illness.
The lawmakers equally raised an alarm that plans had been concluded by their Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, colleagues to suspend them indefinitely in the House.
The lawmakers alleged that their proposed suspension was to ease the planned relocation of the Assembly to Jibowu Hall, which is located within the premises of the Government’s House and the subsequent passage of the 2011 budget without the inputs of the PDP lawmakers
Speaking with the newsmen, the former Leader of Government Business, Mr Lai Oke claimed that the Mace, which remains the symbol of authority in the Assembly had been seized from the Clerk, Mr Tunde Famoyegun by the ACN lawmakers and taken to undisclosed location, so that it could be used for illegal sitting at will by them.
But the Clerk in a swift reaction admitted that the Mace was still in his custody, thereby puncturing the insinuation in the PDP Caucus that it has been stolen.
The Clerk said the delay in the sitting of the Assembly was necessitated by vacancy in the position of Leader of Government Business in the Assembly, saying Oke, who was the former occupant of the seat is a PDP member, whom he said was not competent to remain in that position
Famuyegun disclosed that the House had not been receiving correspondences from the new Government, thereby compelling the Assembly to adjourn sine die, pending the time the Government would take off fully
However ,Oke insisted that the ratification of the local government dissolution and the election of Hon Gbenga Odebunmi as the new Deputy Speaker of the Assembly solely by ACN Caucus as acts of illegality, saying no amount of intimidation and coercion would stop them from challenging the alleged fraud anytime the House commences sitting
He, however said they [the 13 PDP lawmakers] had petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim and the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Chris Kakwe Katso over a threat to their lives
The former Leader of Government Business therefore declared that they(PDP Lawmakers) would be compelled to react violently to issues only when the Governor seems to be trampling on the Rule of Law
“We are not going to oppose to Governor Kayode Fayemi policies subjectively as advised by our leader, Engr Segun Oni, but we want to say that no amount of intimidation, names-calling and arms twisting will make us shiver and allow illegalities in this state”, Oke promised