The National Leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has condemned the act of impunity, indiscipline and political rascality by members of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the Edo State House of Assembly, saying that such actions negate the rule of law and must not be seen to be rewarded.
The National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun disclosed this yesterday when he led some National Leaders of the Party on a solidarity visit to the governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole at Government House, Benin City.
He said, “After due considerations at a meeting held on Friday, we decided that it was immediate and urgent that we pay a visit to you, to come and tell you and of course the Legislators that we know what you have been passing through, we understand and we are glad with the way you have been managing what you have been going through.
“This kind of rascality and indiscipline must not be seen to be rewarded. Against all odds, you have remained firm and this is the spirit of the new APC.
Oyegun also said that, “Besides the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, you are the most current target of attack in their quest to destabilize APC Governors. For this simple reason you are not alone.
“What the Party, APC has come to realise is a properly mapped out war by the PDP to distabilise the APC.
According to Oyegun, “The APC has decided strongly that it is time that this rascality of the PDP should have consequences. So, we are not going to sit back any more and roll over and accept what is being dished out to us because the level of impunity is becoming totally unacceptable”.
“The rate at which institutions of state, especially security institutions, are being undermined and destroyed can no longer be accepted and tolerated”, he asserted.
“We read in newspapers, the way the Police have been used to protect eight (8) 0r nine (9) people against lawful decisions of court, against lawful and majority controlled House of Assembly”.
Oyegun urged the Comrade Governor to continue with the provision of good governance to the people of the state, stressing that the leadership of APC will continue to give him their support.
According to him, “We have come to Edo State to let you know that the Party is fully behind you”.
Responding, Governor Adams Oshiomhole on behalf of the State and Leadership of the Legislature thanked the National Chairman, Chief Oyegun and other members for leading a high power delegation of APC on a Solidarity visit to Government House.
He said, “Let me thank you sir, for your decision to pay us a visit and all that you have said. Of course, this is your state, you know the actors and all that are involved. You are very familiar with the environment and you are one of the leaders of Edo Community.
“I think what people refer to basically as crisis in Edo State is something so described because we are not English people and we do not have the right words to use.
Oshiomhole said, “My view is that, the refusal by four (4) suspended members of the PDP of a 24 member House would be a decision validly taken by their own House on the basis of rules governing the House that they are a part of, so, their insubordination has not in any way translated to a crisis.
Oshiomhole added, “Ordinarily, this should be seen as the internal affairs of the House that should bother only the members of the house.
“Whether the House chooses to suspend a member or appoint a member on assignment or whatever, given the principles of separation of powers, that should not have anything to do with anyone but members of the House, particularly when it has become traditional that various Houses of the Assembly at one time or the other either for the right reasons or the wrong reasons, at the State and even at the National level have had course to suspend their members and it has never become an issue leading to the blockade of the economy of the state.
Governor Oshiomhole argued that “It is more of the way the Police managed or intervened in the suspension and providing security cover to force these people into the House that has become an issue.
“I think you hit the nail on the head when you condemned the act of reckless misuse of State apparatus, taking the instruments of coercion, such as the Police because in a democracy, the police itself must be seen as instruments of creation of the law and the protection of lives and property and not otherwise”.
He said, “It is these four (4) PDP members now six that first approached the court. One approached the State High Court, the others approached the Federal High Court, asking the court for their protection, restraining the speaker from declaring their seats vacant and taking disciplinary actions against them.
Governor Oshiomhole also explained that the court upheld their first prayer that they should not declare their seats vacant but that on disciplinary actions, the Court cannot direct the House on acts of misconduct by their members.
“The House in line with their rules went ahead to suspend the four PDP members who had refused to obey the suspension even when the 15 APC lawmakers had sought judicial intervention and of course, if they were to resolve to self help in a 24 member House, and four or five were suspended, these five do not have the capacity to overwhelm the majority members physically.
“Whereas the suspended four PDP Lawmakers have continued to enjoy the ruling of the Federal High Court that says that their seats should not be declared vacant, they have refused to obey the order of the State High Court”.
On the delegation of the National Chairman were APC Leader, Dr Ogbonanya Onu, River State Governor, Dr. Rotimi Amaechi, Former Kwara State Governor, Senator Bukola Saraki, APC National Secretary, Mainala Boni, National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, Minority Leader House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila amongst others.