FREEPRESS – The attempt by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State to use a high power delegation of top and influential APC leaders like President Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Fayemi Kayode and former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola to beg APC National Chairman over the situation in the yet-to-be inaugurated Edo 7th Assembly has ended in futility, CAMPUS GIST can authoritatively report.
Governor Obaseki, the only governor who failed to issue a proclamation for the inauguration of State Assembly, has sought further help to prevail on the APC National Chairman and Leader of the party in Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole over an imminent loss of loyalty of Edo House of Assembly members.
The governor who left Benin for Abuja earlier this week for a second time in one week joined President Muhammadu Buhari, APC National Leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and former Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Anti-Corruption Summit. Obaseki is said to have used that as an avenue to have the audience of the top APC leaders to help find a solution to the situation in Edo 7th Assembly. The Governor had last week also made same begging trip with Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote after meeting with President Buhari on same matter.
According to our source, the governor who also went with senior appointees of his government after intense begging, told APC National Chairman that they wanted him to play a leadership role in the inauguration of the 7th Assembly this week.
Our source said Oshiomhole insisted that the 7th Assembly being an independent arm of government which consists of all round All Progressive Congress members should be allowed to remain independent as the fear of opposition members emerging as principal officers were not there.
But the entourage insisted that they wanted him to come back to Edo State with them today for preparation, an offer which the National Chairman accepted, our source said.
However, this morning, when they came to the residence of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to prepare for their trip back home, they were dissapointed when they were told that the APC National Chairman has left for the UK to join his wife, Lara Oshiomhole for their vacation which was cut short by the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, as well as swearing in ceremony of President Buhari and other activities that went with it.
Governor Godwin Obaseki is reported to have failed to issue a proclamation and inaugurate the 7th Assembly over fear of loss of control of the State House of Assembly.
The Nation Newspaper reports that Obaseki had the loyalty of just 5 members of the total 24. Punch reports that Obaseki had control of 7 members, while CAMPUS GIST reported that the number loyal to the governor had dropped to 4.
The division of loyalty in the House of Assembly between the APC National Chairman and Governor Obaseki is said to be influenced by the rift between the duo with respect to the battle of the soul of the party as Edo heads towards 2020; the gubernatorial election year.
In recent months, opposition to the governors second term bid have swelled over many reasons which includes his alienation of politicians from governance and government house and using only foreigners.
He is also accused of stifling the 6th Assembly and reducing them to a rubber-stamp legislature.
A pressure group (Edo Peoples Movement) against his re-election bid which is led by foremost politicians like Engr Festus Evbuoham, Co-Convened by former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Henry Idahagbon and with members like Edo North APC Chieftain, Waziri Oshomah; Edo Central APC Chieftain, Chief Francis Inegbeneki; former Speaker Edo State House of Assembly and former Chairman of the Action Congress, Thomas Okosun; National Chairman of RTEAN, Osakpaman Eriyo aka Nomoreless, Comrade Tony Kabaka, Alhaji Magaji and over 500 leaders from the three senatorial district, have vowed to met the ‘Ambode treatment’ on the governor for abandoning politicians on whose back he rode to power.
They streamlined their objectives to restructuring the party on the path of winning ways as well as replacing Governor Obaseki in 2020 for alleged incompetence and lack of emotional intelligence.
They accused the governor of increasing the debt profile of the state to about N300 billion in two years without reciprocal development, jobs or empowerment to justify such borrowing. The borrowing they said was done in secrecy as most members of the Sixth Assembly feigned ignorance of the act.
Governor Obaseki is also accused of increasing unemployment to 25 percent and underemployment to another 21 percent making number of unemployed and underemployed Edo people rise to over 1.8 million. National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures says 14,000 people lost their jobs in 2018. This is despite the governor’s promise to create 200,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, reactions and protests have erupted in Edo State over the governors refusal to issue a proclamation for the inauguration of the 7th Assembly.
Constitutional lawyers, Civil Activists as well as politicians have condemned the governor’s action as self-serving.
All interests have called on him to perform his constitutional function to put an end to the vacuum in government and imminent constitutional crisis by his refusal to do so.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, in reaction to the development, told newsmen that the governor was still in Abuja and therefore cannot issue the proclamation.
He said once the governor returns within the week the proclamation will be issued for the inauguration of the 7th Assembly.