EDO CRISIS: OSHIOMHOLE SLAMS REPS' RESOLUTION
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on Thursday denounced the House of Representatives for its resolution which kicked against his suspension of the Chairman of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, Chief Johnson Emeasealu and his counterpart in Orhionwon Local Government Area, Mr. Patrick Aisien as well as the impeachment of the former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Zakawanu Garuba.
The governor, reiterated that the suspension of the two council bosses remain irreversible.
Oshiomhole spoke to Journalists in Government House in Benin City shortly after attending a meeting of the National Executive Council of the Action Congress.
The governor had pleaded at the meeting that President Umaru Yar’Adua need not be impeached on the account of his health.
The decision of the Representatives
to deliberate on a matters which are in court, according to Oshiomhole, smacks of intimidation and harassment of Edo State government.
The House had passed a resolution on a motion by Hon Friday Itulah, saying that the action of Oshiomhole in suspending the council chairmen and impeachment of Speaker Zakawanu Garuna were illegal.
The House also ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo to investigate the alleged forgery of the signatures of some legislators of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State House of Assembly which made the impeachment of ex-Speaker Garuba possible.
But reacting to the position of the Representatives, Oshiomhole, said, “One is surprised that the House of Reps allowed itself to be manipulated by Chief Tony Anenih in his futile attempt to mobilise federal agencies to intimidate, blackmail and harass the Governor and government of Edo State. The Nigerian Constitution sets out the rules and we are under that constitution. If any of us allow ourselves to be manipulated and dabble into matters that are outside the responsibilities assigned to us by the constitution, we pronounced in vain.”
He added that the resolution of the house was done in bad faith and was manipulated by Chief Anenih saying, “It will not influence my conduct nor will it influence my judgment in all I shall do or not do as it affect these matters.”
He noted that anybody who said his signature was forged should go to court, adding that the state government had also written to the IG to investigate and charged lawmakers who used weapons to inflict injuries on fellow lawmakers
Oshiomhole who said he invoked the powers vested in him by the State House of Assembly to suspend the council chairmen said the action, taken about three weeks ago, is irreversible and that the panels set up to probe the two men would complete its work and if found guilty, they would face the music.
On the impeachment of Zakawanu Garuba as Speaker, Oshiomhole said he would not comment on it since the matter is in court.
According to him, “The principle of separation of power instructs us not to comment on anything that is before a court of competent jurisdiction. I will abstain from commenting on whether the Speaker was duly impeached or not. The matter is before the court.
Meanwhile, Oshimhole subscribed at his party’s meeting on Thursday that the geo-political reality of Nigeria does not give room for the President’s impeachment on health grounds.
While alluding to an American President who was ill for about seven months and was not impeached from office, Oshiomhole said that, “Anything that would give any part of the country the impression that a decision was unfair, we must resist the temptation.”
He expressed joy that Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has been empowered to act and has been steering the ship of state well.
The Governor, however, disclosed that at the Governor’s forum, it was agreed that the acting President should continue to act in that capacity in a manner that would not give the impression that there was a vacuum.
He said, “Also, all of us must continue to pray for the speedy recovery of the President, because that is what our culture also dictates, that we are pray for those who are sick to get well. We should not give anyone the impression that anybody is happy over this unfortunate incident. The geopolitical reality of Nigeria is such that you do not want to be told that someone was sacked because he was ill. Anything that will give any part of this country the feeling that a decision was unfair, we must resist the temptation to proceed with it.It is probably not the best hour for Nigeria, but I also know that Nigeria will overcome this present challenge.”
He therefore urged the AC NEC to come up with a well considered position on the Yar’ Adua matter which should be in the long term interest of the country.