Local government councilors belonging to the All Progressives Congress APC in Edo state have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the national secretariat of the APC asking for help from what they claimed as Governor Godwin Obaseki’s order to deny them their entitlements over political differences.
The councilors speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday said their refusal to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP with the governor had led them to be treated with ignominy by the governor and the local government chairmen.
They said that in several cases, the rule of the law has been turned down to witch-hunt them.
They thus asked the president and the national leadership of the party to intervene on their behalf.
The views of the councilors were articulated by Hon. Enwinghare K. Osabuohien of (Ward 2,Egor L.G.A). The statement was signed by Kelvin Omo Esemuze, Sule Becky, Ogini Topas, Enabulele Godfrey, Ogbeye Evans and Pst. Mrs. Okpamen Angela.
The statement titled “Abuse and deprivation of our fundamental human rights by the various Council Chairmen of Edo state under the directive of Gov. Godwin Obaseki” read thus:
“Today, the world should know that as elected councilors numbering over 90, we have not been paid our salaries since May 2020. Salaries and wages of the legislature are not a gift from the executive arm of government. All rights and privileges and other entitlements have been stopped on the directives of the Governor because of our democratic choice and right.”
“Our only offense is that we refused to decamp with the Governor to the PDP even though in our assessment of his performance, we found no moral justification on which we should abandon the party that provided us platform to get elected. Across the state, there have been illegal suspension of elected and appointed government officials in 16 out of 18 local government areas.
“A classic case is that which transpired in Uhunmwode L.G Legislative council with 10 Councilors, sanctioned by the Governor, the only thrre PDP councilors in the house sat on the 23rd of June 2020 to suspend 7 APC house members. The same has happened in Ovia South West, Egor, Etsako East, Akoko Edo and Esan South Local Government Area Legislative Council to mention but a few.
“Currently in Edo State, the entire legislative arm of government is completely dysfunctional. The state house of assembly have not been inaugurated since 2019 while the entire legislative arm of the local government councils have been undermined with the illegal suspension of over 90 elected councilors under the supervision of Governor Obaseki.
“The illegal indefinite suspension, stoppage of salaries, allowances, benefits, overhead and the denial of over 100 communities we represent of meaningful development on the basis of our political party affiliation is alien to the public and our emerging democracy. As elected councilors, we can only be validly removed from office by a recall as any other means will amount to a breach of section 110(a) and (b) of the 1999 constitution and section 22 of the local government laws of Edo state 2000 as amended.
“We are therefore calling the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President and the House of Representatives to rise up in condemnation of this tyranny, inhuman treatment, victimization and undemocratic actions by the Edo state government and to urge the government of Edo state as a matter of urgency to allow the councillors elected on the platform of APC to resume their legitimate duties in service to their people, as this will save the nation the global embarrassment it is already bringing.”