Edo Assembly: Tinubu makes fresh claims against Governor Obaseki
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has reacted to recent events at the Edo State House of Assembly, describing Governor Godwin Obaseki’s actions as “the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern.”
Tinubu said this in a statement he personally signed and made available to Dailypost on Friday.
The former Lagos State Governor berated Obaseki, accusing him of making a mockery of Nigeria’s constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, and now resorting to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.
According to Tinubu, Obaseki had sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin while feigning the building is undergoing renovation.
“Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex,” Tinubu said.
He noted that by this singular act, Obaseki spent state “funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold.”
Tinubu said that the Governor squandered “public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.”
The statement added, “As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo.
“No renovation has been planned for the state house building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.
“Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order. By his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties, Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.
“The legislative function is, perhaps, the most foundational obligation of any government. In the UK, the Parliament was famously said to be “that supreme and absolute power, which gives life and motion to the English government”. In most democratic systems, the legislature is the arm of government containing within itself the people’s representatives in government.
“As such, the legislative arm is critical. It is an important symbol of democratic governance. The voice, will and desires of the people are reposed in their elected representatives sent to the legislature to express and distil their amorphous will into the laws and codes by which the society has agreed to live.
“In the context of a constitutional democracy such as ours, the legislature’s authority stems, in effect, from the recognition that it is the authentic mouthpiece of the people, entrusted with the responsibility of representing their collective will and the power to interpret and mould it into the laws of the land. It is, in short, not to be toyed with as a plaything of an errant and ill-disciplined governor. Undermine the legislature and you imperil democracy and allow governance to descend into anarchy.
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