The tide in the jostle for supremacy in Edo State House of Assembly has turned as Nigeria’s “Chief Law Officer,” Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has pitched camp with the 17 lawmakers loyal to former chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, ordering Inspector General of Police to provide security for them as they perform their “legislative duties.”
In a letter dated August 5 based on a petition to his office by Idahosa-West Chambers, Malami said the security measure is necessary to prevent breakdown of law and order.
The 17 lawmakers backing All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, have been locked in a battle to access the Edo Assembly complex on Ring Road, Benin with seven lawmakers loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The letter was already in the possession of the anti-Obaseki lawmakers as they mobilized policemen from Abuja in execution of the mandate.
The 17 members of Assembly including 14 who hitherto had not been sworn in, met outside the House of Assembly Complex and elected their Speaker, with the State’s two Speakers each laying claim to the leadership of the legislature.
But Governor Obaseki has vowed to deal with those who want to test the will of the government, and to ensure protection of the rule of law.
Oshiomhole is not a candidate in the election but he has a vowed that the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, would win the September 19, 2020 governorship elections.
The Oshiomhole House of Assembly faction went on a revenge mission Thursday by impeaching the Speaker Frank Okiye, and in his place elected Victor Edoror. Emmanuel Agbaje was elected Deputy Speaker. Their election was said to have been done at an emergency session of the House, which took place at an undisclosed location in the State capital.
That was in response to the impeachment on Wednesday of Mr Yekini Idiaye, Deputy Speaker, by seven members of the House who are said to be Obaseki’s loyalists.
Tension rose on Thursday morning, as the Assembly Complex in Benin City was besieged by security personnel. As the crisis worsened, the roofs of the Assembly were removed by youths, while the gate to the Complex was blocked with granite.