…urge them to toe Bauchi example

Condemnation has continued to trail the refusal of 12 members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly to present themselves for inauguration as their counterparts in Bauchi have done.

Edo Assembly
Hon. Emmanuel Agbaje (right), representing Akoko-Edo Constituency II, being sworn-in as member of the Edo State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A cross-section of concerned citizens of the state including an academic and market women association have condemned the actions of the 12 members-elect in the Assembly, who have been at loggerheads with their colleagues over the inauguration of the house.

The condemnation is coming in the wake of recent events in Bauchi State, where some 16 members-elect have capitulated and presented themselves for inauguration after an initial disagreement, which many likened to what obtained in Edo State.

A constitutional lawyer, Barr. Adaze Emwanta, who also lectures in the Department of Public Law at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, said the decision of the erstwhile lawmakers-elect of Bauchi, (now Honourable members), to return to the Assembly for their swearing-in has created a new vista in the Edo situation.

According to him, “The initial contention of the 12 lawmakers-elect was that the inauguration of the 7th Assembly took place at night and in the words of Adams Oshiomhole, ‘an unholy hour.” But the parliamentary votes and proceedings of the House for the 17th day of June 2019, shows that the inauguration of the house commenced at 3pm.

“The 16 Bauchi APC legislators, who initially refused to present themselves for their swearing-in (like their counterparts in Edo), have embraced peace by presenting themselves for their swearing-in, which took place on Friday, the 2nd of August 2019, at about 8pm in the night. In the light of this development, the ‘unholy hour’ argument of the 12 Edo lawmakers-elect and their sponsor has become academic.”

He said the inauguration in Bauchi, contrary to the arguments calling for a fresh proclamation letter, was done without the Governor of Bauchi issuing anything, meaning that the case is Edo should be treated likewise.

“In the light of the return and subsequent swearing-in of the 16 Bauchi lawmakers-elect, there is need for the 12 Edo lawmakers-elect to follow the path of honour by returning to Chief Anthony Enahoro Complex, Kings Square, Benin City, where their constituents elected them to represent them,” he added.

Leader of Market Women in the State, Madam Blacky Omorogbe, said market women in the state are not happy with the stubbornness of the members-elect who have deprived the people representation at the Assembly.

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According to her, “We are tired of the excuse these our sons are giving. It is quite unfortunate that they have refused to listen to the voice of reason and present themselves to represent us at the Assembly. We hear that some people in Bauchi State who had a similar problem have resolved theirs. So, I believe there shouldn’t be any reason for delay by the 12 members-elect. They should come and join their colleagues in Edo State.


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