Edo Assembly Saga: Removal of Roof Injurious to Nigeria’s Democracy – Obasa

The recent siege at the Edo State House of Assembly has been condemned by the chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

The act is believed to have been perpetrated by men suspected to be loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki.

In a statement he personally signed on behalf of the Conference of Speakers, Obasa said the removal of the roofs of the hallowed Assembly is an injury to Nigeria’s democracy and must be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.

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The Speaker and his colleagues in the country in the statement described the brazen manner the suspected political thugs took over the Assembly, removed the roof, and broke the symbolic mace, which was all captured in a recorded video, as sheer recklessness.

The Conference accused the state government headed by Obaseki as autocratic and dictatorial in this regard adding that whatever defence the latter has for the action does not ‘hold any water’.

“It is sheer recklessness and proof of dictatorship for a governor who is supposed to be the head of the executive arm of government to decide to take charge of another arm through questionable means as it happened in Edo.

“There were reports linking the removal of the roof and the offloading of gravel at the complex to purported plans by the government to renovate the Assembly but we think this is an afterthought,” the Speakers declared.

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The Conference wondered why the need for renovation of the Assembly suddenly came up just weeks to the governorship election in the state.

“Why is the government just realising the need to renovate the complex at the twilight of the administration?

“What happens to the building if the governor does not return? What happens if the next administration does not take that direction?

Obama’s statement on behalf of his colleagues also accused the Commissioner of Police in the state in the entire drama. He said the commissioner allowed himself to be used as a tool to perpetrate an attack on democracy in the way the drama panned out at the Assembly complex in the state.

Obasa further warned the governor and those participating in the electoral process in the state to desist from doing anything that would affect the smooth running of the Edo House of Assembly.

The Speakers also reminded Obaseki that the removal of the Assembly roof does not stop the lawmakers from sitting as the constitution of the country does not limit plenaries to the hallowed chamber alone.

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