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Edo assembly crisis; JAADE backs House of Reps resolution

By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY – THE Joint Action for the Advancement of Democracy (JAADE) Friday backed the resolution of the House of Representatives mandating Governor Godwin Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation letter for the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly.

Obaseki Edo assembly
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (middle); his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu (2nd right); Special Adviser to the Governor on Political and Community Matters, Chief Osaro Idah (right); Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye (2nd left); and EDHA member, Roland Asoro (left), during a solidarity march by various groups in Benin City, on Thursday, July 11, 2019.

Convener of JAADE which is a coalition of group across the state, including Benin Youth Council (BYC), Essen Progress and Unity Forum (EPUF), Edo North Democratic Frontiers (ENDF) and others, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo said the action of the governor was ” clearly a case of conjuring minority rule in an Assembly that is organically positioned as the melting pot of democratic ethos, and the indefatigable symbol of democracy all over the world.

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He said;”We demand for the immediate and unconditional restoration to the ideal democratic order, where a proper inauguration for the 24 members-elect will be done freely and fairly.”

On the position of the House of Representatives, Edokpolo said the House was right because “This is so because, Governor Obaseki wants to continue his reign of impunity and non compliance with due process in governance as it is already too evident in many of the transactions his government has been involved in since assuming power in 2016.

“However, we commend the National Assembly particularly the House of Representatives which has taken steps to ensure that the constitution and known parliamentary practice is followed in the process of convening the House of Assembly.

“We also wish to urge the Distinguished Senate to follow the same path to restore peace to the Legislature in Edo state so that there can be no vacuum in the conduct of Legislative business.

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“We are however aghast at the statement authored by the Secretary to the Edo State Government justifying the illegality the State government committed in setting the twenty four members elected to represent the 24 constituencies in the state against themselves due to their inability to manage the process leading to the convening of a new assembly and rejecting the intervention of the House of Representatives.

On our part we wish to remind the Edo State Government that at the moment there exist no house of Assembly in Edo state and according to Section 91 of the Constitution as amended no house of Assembly in Nigeria can have more than 40 members or less than 24 members. In the fullness of time, the government of Edo state will be held accountable for its dealings with an assembly that has less than the constitutionally required membership.”

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