Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole says the crisis rocking the state House of Assembly has persisted this long because the four suspended lawmakers in the State House of Assembly have refused to obey a subsisting court order, saying those who make laws must be seen to obey the laws they make.
Speaking on the protracted crisis in the state House of Assembly when he granted audience to the leadership of the Edo Civil Society Organization (EDCSO) in Government House, on Friday, Oshiomhole said he spoke to both parties on the matter on the need to settle the matter amicably to avoid distraction in their legislative duties.
He said: “My attention was drawn to the issue and I spoke to the two sides on telephone. I said, you have to find a way to resolve this because I don’t want any distraction, whether we like it or not, the time I spend explaining this and the time you have spent discussing among yourselves to agree, is time we could have used for other things.”
Governor Oshiomhole maintained, “What is at stake is fundamental to the maintenance of peace and security. I can’t be a governor presiding over anarchy. People who lead in making laws must be seen to obey the laws they make.
“I think therefore that on this occasion, the Civil Society which include people who are committed to good governance, people who are committed to building a civilized society have no choice but to tell those disobeying judicial order to go back and obey the order”.
He said, “They struck a deal; namely that the House Members will obey the suspension order by staying away and then the House would set up a committee. The committee over the weekend would have deliberated on the matter and by Monday, they would make a decision to vacate their suspension and the four persons would go back to the House.
Oshiomhole further said, “The two sides told me this is fine, but you see, don’t forget there are rules, if you subscribe to this, it is binding on you. If your members now refuse to abide by it but to subvert it, you have no basis for co-existence.
He added, “What is at stake is fundamental to the maintenance of peace and security because if you cannot appeal to lawmakers to obey the law, is it thugs you are going to appeal to in order to stop thuggery?
Oshiomhole added, “Unless we stand by the truth, we can’t survive as very ordinary people. So I appeal to you to find the courage and pronounce on the side of the rule of law and on the role of protecting the judiciary.
The Governor also accused the Police of emboldening the suspended lawmakers by not enforcing the Court Order on their suspension.
Earlier in his address, Coordinator General, Edo Civil Society Organization, (EDSCO), Comrade Kaduna Eboigbodin said they were in Government House to bring to the attention of the Governor some fundamental matters that are centered on promoting good governance and participating democracy in the state.
The organization commended the Governor on the positive wellbeing of the people and the physical infrastructure development in the state.
Eboigbodin begged the Governor to intervene in resolving the crisis rocking the State House of Assembly, saying the matter is bringing shame and unnecessary attention to the state.
Some of other issues highlighted included the arbitrary fraudulent charges and estimated billing by Benin Electricity Distributing Company (BEDC), reconstitution of the Neighborhood Watch and alleged multiple arbitrary levies by agents of government, among others.