By Ayodele Oluwafemi
Suggestions that the faceoff between the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State have settled were on Sunday rebuffed as Oshiomhole has again called for a fresh inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly.
In an interview at the weekend, Oshiomhole urged Obaseki to learn the art of persuasion and negotiation in a democracy saying that he, Oshiomhole will not dilute the integrity he brought into politics by condoning undemocratic acts as done by the governor.
He also dismissed claims by the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye of a plot to impeach Governor Obaseki as illogical saying he has nothing to gain from doing that to a man he brought to power.
“The only option for him is to lobby and if he lobbies and in end he is unable to get everybody to toe his line, he has to concede that these are not his Commissioners or Special Assistants for which he has absolute monopoly to appoint. But even at that, if they are commissioners, they must be screened by the House of Assembly, that is the law. So if he chooses to put it in the manner that he has unfortunately put it, giving the impression that as the governor he can do everything, is there anything in the constitution that you know, that empowers a governor to decide who becomes a Speaker.
“But like every other person in a democracy, you get what you are able to negotiate, the operative word is negotiation, persuasion, that is what we did in Abuja. But inspite of all the efforts we invested at the Federal level, incidentally as the chairman I was active on that, we conceded in the end when Senator Ndume said he will not go the way the party wanted. We could not deny him that right to contest and he went and contested and he got 24 votes.
“When I was governor, I went through the same process, we persuade the members, we called all of them, first explained to them the need to ensure geo-political balance. Sometimes we suggest who we think is better equipped to handle legislative matters. That is how far we can go. Sometimes we succeeded some other times we did not. But the bottom line is that iit is the responsibility and absolute prerogative of members of the House to do it” he stated.
“Secondly” he said, “Okiye being the beneficiary of the purported inauguration, and he says the agenda is to impeach Obaseki, did he tell you what offence Obaseki has committed, is he known to have committed any impeachable offence. Is he true that somebody who has just been elected, he has not even been inaugurated his first agenda is to disturb the system by seeking to impeach a governor who is not known to have committed any offence. Is impeachment a tea party? It does not make sense.
“By the way who is Okiye, does he know what was invested in the making of the governor? Can he possibly lay claim to loving the governor more than those of us who went round the state and stake our reputation and invest our energy and persuasive skill to market the governor to the people. If there is one man that wants Governor Obaseki to succeed so that everything I said on his behalf comes to pass, I think it will be me.
“I have absolutely nothing to gain if someone I told the people will do well end up not doing well or I make statement that contradicts my earlier position. Because all I have that I brought to this job called politics is integrity. And integrity is about being consistent and sometimes being predictable. So Godwin knows that I have no quarrel whatsoever with him, but I do not think that it is right to inaugurate the House of Assembly at night.