The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has constituted his own reconciliation committee to resolve the almost one-year-old crisis in the state House of Assembly. The governor named the Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Ehigie Uzamere, former senator who represented Edo South senatorial district in the National Assembly, to unite the House. Uzamere is the father of the recently appointed chief of staff to the governor, Osaze Uzamere.
In a statement on Thursday, the governor said the constitution of the reconciliation committee was part of moves to restore harmony and peace in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the state at large. Obaseki insisted that he was committed to peace, and that a united front would make the party stronger, more cohesive, and help to foster more development in the state.
He added that the committee, which commences work with immediate effect, would reach out to all parties in the dispute and ensure that all grey areas are addressed to make for peaceful resolution of the matter.
Recall that the governor had since the crisis started June 17 last year following a clandestine proclamation and inauguration of the seventh Assembly, rebuffed the interventions by the national body of the party on the ground that he had no confidence in committees set up by the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, one of them headed by Ahmad Lawan, the senate president. He also rejected the intervention of the National Assembly, accusing the law makers of bias. Nothing had however been heard of the Bisi Akande reconciliation committee which was the last-ditch effort by the party to resolve the crisis.
However, reacting to the development, Washington Osifo, one of the 12 members-elect yet to be inaugurated, told the magazine that they only heard of it on social media and could not determine whether it is true or false. “Nobody has told us anything. So, we are not aware. Nobody has contacted us; so until and unless they contact us, we will know if it’s something that is genuine. It will be difficult to say a word for now”, the former commissioner for education said.
Asked if he would be favourably disposed to the committee, Osifo, a lawyer, asserted that “since June 17, last year, this month makes it exactly 12 months which is one year that we have been shut out. So, it’s our right. We have been asking for it; it’s not a gift. They should just allow us to be inaugurated and go about doing our business haven won the election. So, if in their wisdom they thought they want to let it be, they are not doing us a favour”. Osifo was however quick to state that he was not speaking for the group but airing his personal views.