Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, Niger Delta
BENIN CITY – THERE was confusion on Monday, as leader of a group loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State maintained that there was no directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to issue a fresh proclamation for Edo State House of Assembly contrary to media report.
The leader, who preferred anonymity, said: “I was thoroughly briefed, there was no such directive; is Buhari supposed the person to direct Obaseki to issue a new proclamation letter; is proclamation done twice; is Governor Nasir el-Rufai his spokesperson; why is he the one telling Obaseki? He fired on phone.
He asserted: “The truth is that Obaseki said he would not attend a meeting fixed in Oshiomhole’s house and that he wants a neutral place. They held the first meeting in Ekiti House hosted by Governor Fayemi, el-Rufai was not even at that meeting. The next meeting, they booked a suite at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, which was where they met.”
“If there was such directive, I will tell you, there is nothing like that; we are embarrassed by the report of Buhari directing fresh proclamation, which is not so at. The members-elect are wasting their time, they were in Abuja, they have now relocated to Lagos, if they do not take time, the time they are legally allowed to stay outside will pass,” he added.
Vanguard, however, established that the Peace Committee on Edo State set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, headed by the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has not made much progress after two meetings, last week, following divergence on way forward.
A dependable source said, “Governor Godwin Obaseki is still insisting on the incumbent Speaker, Hon Francis Okiye or Hon Emmanuel Okoduwa, but the position of they are saying he should do the right thing, which re-proclamation and lobby the lawmakers for his ideal candidate.”
According to the source, “The dilemma is that he (governor) has refused and that is why you noticed that there is no headway yet.”
Indication that the committee might not have it easy with Obaseki came when he insisted that venue of the foundational meeting, earlier scheduled to hold in Oshiomhole’s Abuja residence, be changed to a neutral venue and he carried the day.