Obaseki Spurns Overtures for Reprieve for 14 Embattled Lawmakers-Elect

Godwin Obaseki photo
Godwin Obaseki, Edo State governor

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, says he would not forgive the 14 lawmakers-elect whose seats were declared vacant Wednesday December 4, 2019 by the Frank-Okiye-led House of Assembly for not fulfilling the 181 mandatory days for attendance at plenary. He said rather, he would start to press charges against them for alleged treason and sedition to teach them a lesson.

Governor Obaseki was reacting to appeals made to him at an interactive forum with stakeholders from the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) Trade Union Congress, (TUC) and other civil society groups in Benin on Wednesday. He insisted that the fate of the 14 embattled members-elect rests with the court. He called for the support of all stakeholders towards achieving lasting peace and development in Edo.

Recall that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the September 19, 2020 Edo State governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former secretary to the state government, had in his congratulatory letter to the governor on Monday, made a case for the 14 law-makers-elect.

The pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG had said “I want to appeal to you to kindly consider the pertinent issues of the 14 constituencies, including the two in your local government – Oredo and the two in your deputy’s local government – Etsako West, that are presently without representation at the Edo State Assembly. Though the matter is in court, you are in a vantage position to consider an out-of-court settlement of the issue in the overall interest of our state”.

But a livid Obaseki stated contemptuously on Wednesday that “Some characters said they sent congratulatory letters to me and put in all kinds of conditions. How can you tell me to forgive those 14 lawmakers-elect who are responsible for sedition and treason in Nigeria? Of course, we are going to start charges.

“You see, what is bad is bad. Let’s stop covering up things so that people can learn and not do it again. We have gotten support from all of you and are very glad and happy; your support gives us the confidence to continue to fight.

“For us as a government, we are open. There is nothing that we are hiding and this is why we have to kill anything that links us to godfatherism. We have killed it at the national level and need to kill it locally as it is everywhere. I urge you to please be activists for good, peace and development.

“This engagement is to see how we can collaborate and make things work differently; this is a time that we need leadership more than ever before”.

On his part, the state chairman of the NLC, Sunday Osayande, urged the government to digitise revenue collection by migrating to e-revenue collection systems which would check leakages.

Osayande said the e-revenue collection system would further increase the state government’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

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