Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
Members of the House of Representatives from Edo State, has criticised Governor Godwin Obaseki’s role in the continued delay in inaugurating 14 members of the state House of Assembly.
The Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Peter Akpatason, along with other All Progressives Congress members from the state, hosted principal officers of the Edo State House of Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday.
The visiting lawmakers included Marcus Onobun (Speaker), Roland Asoro (Deputy Speaker), Henry Okhuarobo (Majority Leader), Emma Okoduwa (Chief Whip), Sunny Ojiezele (Deputy Leader), Ephraim Aluebhosele (Deputy Whip) and Frank Okiye (former Speaker).
Akpatason said, “We are 360 members in this place. We represent the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. We work as if we are one family; what happens to one person happens to others. We feel for each other and we accommodate each other. That is how we are able to collectively deliver.
“I want to urge, on behalf of the caucus, that as you go back home, please embark on the process of bringing yourselves together. You have 14 of you who have yet to be inaugurated and the Assembly is incomplete because you are a chunk of representatives. So, you have to ensure that you do your best and everything possible to bring it to the attention of the Government of Edo State, that it is important that those people are inaugurated, so that you can have a full house that can deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.”
“We support this inclusiveness; we support peace in Edo State; we support a structure that will deliver to every aspect of Edo State. Any place that is not properly represented, cannot be said to be enjoying the dividends of democracy.”
Akpatason also criticised Obaseki’s refusal to pay salaries and emoluments of some councillors, saying, “We had the opportunity of also meeting with some of the councillors who came from Edo State to say that for quite sometime, they have not been on the payroll because of some of the things that happened before the election.”
“So, we are putting some of these proposals before the Speaker and his team, that as you go back, pay attention to these and make sure that you bring them to the attention of the governor to make sure that the right thing is done.”
Speaking earlier, Onobun applauded members of the Edo caucus in the House for the leadership role they played in quelling tension ahead and during the just concluded governorship election.
He said the initial fear was that there would be an orgy of bloodletting in the state and that “Edo will become a theatre of war”. He noted that it did not come to pass.
Onobun, who said he still enjoys a cordial relationship with the erstwhile Speaker, said Frank Okiye’s presence “shows that Edo State House of Assembly is moving on peacefully.”