Oshiomhole: Bauchi Gov Inviting Trouble over House of Assembly Election

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  • We’ll prevail on IG not to support illegality
  • Says he is ashamed to speak about Edo State House of Assembly Crisis

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has warned that the Governor of Bauchi state, Bala Muhammed, is inviting trouble to the state over his alleged support for the installation of an “illegal Speaker and Deputy Speaker, by minority members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, and vowed to prevail on the Inspector General of Police not to support the illegality.

Oshiomhole stated this while playing host to the Bauchi State APC House of Assembly members at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, yesterday.

The APC lawmakers had gone to complain to their national chairman that 11 members, comprising eight PDP, two APC and one New Nigeria People’s Party, out of 31 members, elected a Speakers and his deputy.

The aggrieved APC lawmakers,
who held a parallel inauguration at another location, said the 11 members on Thursday, illegally elected Abubakar Suleiman as the Speaker of the House, while Danlami Kawule representing Zungur/Galambi (PDP) was elected the Deputy Speaker.

The Bauchi Assembly has 22 APC members.

The APC members subsequently held plenary outside the Assembly complex under the stature of the symbol of a mace, and elected the former Speaker of the Assembly, Kawuwa Damina and Tukur Ibrahim as parallel Speaker and Deputy respectively.

Oshiomhole, who said he was ashamed to speak on a similar situation in home state, Edo, told his visitors that had already briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on what transpired in Bauchi.

He stated: “I have had conversation with the Governor, so I have all the facts. We members of NWC have met with the IG after deliberating on the issues. We will prevail on him to ensure that the police does not provide security for an illegal act. Because the worse form of robbery is political robbery, it is worse than robbing people of their property.

“Like you said Speaker, the laws are clear; democracy is a game of numbers. Minority can never preside over majority in a democracy. So, to the extent that we have 21 members, there is nothing the Governor can do about that. We Have APC 22, PDP 8 and NNPP 1.

“There is no way PDP can produce the speaker, the deputy speaker and other principal officers. If the governor insists, then he is inviting trouble for himself. The earlier the governor of Bauchi comes to terms with this reality, the better for him and for everyone.”

Oshiomhole noted that the ruling party believes in the rule of law, saying that if it was about the use of might, the APC could as well use the police to occupy the Government House and put anybody of its own choice to govern Bauchi.

He added that since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has chosen to recognise Bala Muhammed, APC has to abide despite the huge reservations it had about the alleged manipulation of the election.

Oshiomhole stated: “That is because we realise we are under the rule of law even as a national governing party. So, if we have not misused federal might or federal instrument or institution to prevent Governor Bala Muhammed from being inaugurated, it is a shame that he would rather sit and use federal institution to undermine the rights and privileges of APC members elected duly by the people of Bauchi State and certified by INEC to be inaugurated.  We told the IG it is a shame if the police provide cover for any legal act.

“I assure you, on behalf of APC, that we stand by the statement we made yesterday that the purported election organised under cover with illegal use of the Nigerian Police to install a puppet against the wish of the majority of the members cannot stand and it will not stand by God’s grace.

“We will fight it to its logical conclusion and we will prevail on the police to provide enforcement for the rule of law.”

The national chairman said it was unfortunate that the situation in Bauchi was also similar to the one that is happening in Edo State.

According to him, “I am ashamed to talk about it but there is nothing to hide. We have a similar situation in Edo where in our own case we have 24/24 all of them APC but somebody wants a particular person as a Speaker, 19 out of 24 are opposed to this person. They then decide to carry six members into the house, who were willing, while they invited the other ones as if for dinner only to arrive and be bundled into a vehicle, some of them in their short nickers to be inaugurated at 9.30 pm in the night.

“Yours was 6am, Edo’s was 9.30pm. All these are unholy hours. Those are nocturnal hours. The working hours for parliament are provided by the rules of the parliament. It is not up to anyone to change those rules; only properly constituted parliament can change the rules as they are.”

Edo Assembly Crisis: Ex Political Adviser Blames Oshiomhole

Meanwhile, a chieftain of the APC, Mr. Charles Idahosa yesterday accused Oshiomhole as the one fanning the embers of crisis in the state’s House of Assembly.

He attributed the raging crisis within the party and among elected members of the state legislature to lack of leadership and undue interest.

But the spokesman of Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), Mr. Henry Idahagbon, alleged that Idahosa is a known political jobber.

Addressing a press conference in Benin, Idahosa specifically challenged Oshiomhole to speak out on his position over the unfolding political situation in the state, which he described as a “tragic-comedy” due to his (Oshiomhole’s) dictatorship and overbearing influence on the party and the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government.

He said, “Why is it that Oshiomhole has refused to say a word since the problem started. Silence means consent. You can see that the problem has snowballed into the house of assembly. I made bold to say that Oshiomhole is the problem of APC in Edo state. What is important for all of us is development and peace. Enough is enough, Oshiomhole in a decent society should resign his position as the national chairman of a ruling party for losing five states in his first outing,” during the recently conducted general elections.    

Idahosa, who was the Political Adviser to Oshiomhole while in office as governor of the state, noted that the “whole idea of the opposition against Governor Obaseki is to cause confusion in Edo state so that Obaseki is pushed out and another Benin person is brought in.”

According to him, “The problem is that Oshiomhole brought Godwin Obaseki, Anselm Ojezua (APC State chairman), the Deputy Governor (Hon. Philip Shaibu) and the Secretary to the state government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie Esq. He controls the party and everybody; he wants to see himself as an Emperor and that will not happen.”

He stated that Governor Obaseki “has never been rude to Oshiomhole or engage him in any confrontation,” adding that “the minority is trying to lord it over the majority and that is the problem.”  

He warned that “When two friends quarrel, they don’t talk to each other but confess like witches and wizards.”

Meanwhile, Idahagbon, who was a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Edo, as well as former Council chairman and Commissioner for Lands and Survey, noted that Oshiomhole is the national chairman of APC and not that of Edo State and that as a result he cannot condescend so low to play ethnic politics.

He said: “Idahosa is only frustrated because Oshiomhole failed to give him Ghana-must-go when he faked his illness and claimed he was traveling abroad for checkup. Of course, Obaseki the willing tool dished out the millions and suddenly the Obaseki he once described as a stingy bastard became his new god father. Oshiomhole is too big for these people and it is sad that each time Idahosa wants to seek relevance, he sang Oshiomhole’s name so his benefactor will see he is working.”

APC: Edo, Bauchi Houses of Assembly Inaugurations, Elections, a Charade

Also last night, APC described the inauguration of the new State Houses of Assembly in both Edo and Bauchi States as a charade.

The party, therefore, called Governor Obaseki and Governor Bala Mohammed to urgently issue a proper letter of proclamation to allow for the lawful inauguration of the Houses of Assembly and subsequent election of presiding officers in a transparent manner.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement yesterday said that the national leadership of the party viewed this illegality with shock and disappointment.

The party said that perhaps the actors in the inauguration sham in Edo and Bauchi States needed to be reminded of the recent and widely-commended election of presiding officers in the newly-inaugurated 9th National Assembly, adding that the ruling party has set new standards in party politics by upstaging the rule of force, while upholding the rule of law.

Issa-Onilu stated: “As a party that has made a commitment to change, we strongly reject any attempt to take recourse to brigandage of the past, when democratic practices were defined by the inordinate whims of people in power.

“Democracy must be governed by the rule of law. A situation where 11 lawmakers in the 31-member Bauchi State House of Assembly and nine lawmakers in the 24-member Edo State House of Assembly were secretly ‘inaugurated’ and purportedly ‘elect’ principal officers behind closed doors is a joke and an embarrassment.

“It is an unfortunate reminder of PDP’s queer brand of democracy. Practices like this are unacceptable under APC-led administration. As a party that is committed to higher ideals, we would use all democratic means necessary to ensure the right thing is done.”

The party restated that every elected lawmaker has a legitimate right to participate unhindered in the inauguration of the legislative arm in which he belongs, saying that the plot to arm-twist the majority in favour of the minority in the legislative arm died with the defeat of the PDP in 2015.

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