- accuse the house of selling its independence over a plate of pepper soup
Eminent Edo people have reacted to the recent development where the Edo State House of Assembly rejected its own autonomy and that of the judiciary in the ongoing process by the National Assembly to amend the constitution.
The decision was reached on Thursday the 22nd of February, 2018.
It was gathered that the Speaker of the House Kabiri Adjoto, and his members held a marathon meeting with the state governor Godwin Obaseki, his deputy Philip Shaibu and the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Anslem Ojezua and other party leaders where the decision to reject the bill was imposed.
It was learned that many of the lawmakers wanted the autonomy as 32 states have already endorsed it but were pressured into submission by the executive arms.
Adjoto left the meeting frustrated after futile effort to convince his party leaders that there were high expectations from the lawmakers and Edo people who wanted it endorsed, plus the stress on to convince them of the alternative.
After the outcome hit the media, eminent Edo people who felt disappointed and wondered why the EDHA would reject its own freedom outbursted.
Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki
Speaking with NAIJA CENTER NEWS, a former governorship aspirant in the last 2016 election, Dr. Pedro Obaseki described the event as “self-cannibalism”
Speaking in parables, Obaseki said, “When a Crocodile Eats its own eggs, There is nothing it won’t do to the flesh of a frog.”
He added “With that vote, Our legislators in EDHA are actually engaged in Self-cannibalism! The EDHA reminds me of the negative connotation of the “Ouroboros” – the ancient serpent or dragon that eats its own tail. The medieval wild rat snake that attempted to consume itself twice, but died in the second attempt. It’s a shame!”
Dr. Ehiogie West-Idahosa
Responding to our correspondent, a former senatorial aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State Dr. Ehiogie West-Idahosa said the assembly can’t assist the state.
“This is the second time this House is doing so. I blame it on the low calibre membership of the House. It is a wake-up call for the State. This Assembly can’t help the State in any way. He noted
He added “Edo State House of Assembly’s recent rejection of financial autonomy marks a new low ground in the ongoing legislative imperialism of State Assemblies in Nigeria. Executive expansion of dominance and exploitation of the weaker legislature has eroded the sense of placement inherent in the practice of separation of powers characteristic of modern democracy. The unequal exchange of perks of office has led to a final surrender of the power of the purse which is the strength and preserves of the legislature worldwide, by Edo State House of Assembly.
“In return, the lawmakers get aids in kind or cash, a few foreign trips and guarantee of second term Party tickets. But what would this mean against the loss of the innate right of the legislature to check the Executive from misusing public funds appropriated for the public good? The answer is discernible.
“Who will deal with the debt burden of Edo State which has reached astronomical levels? The State’s scarce resources from internally generated revenue borne by the poor man and woman on the streets and federal allocations would end up servicing the huge debt without a wimp from the lawmakers whose autonomy has been voluntarily mortgaged at the risk of jeopardizing the balance of power in the State.
“Plunder of State resources, tax abuses, poverty, widespread unemployment, disease, maladministration and a host of anomalies would become the cynosure of this new wave of legislative imperialism.”
The former aspirant urged the EDHA to “save itself this embarrassment by reviewing their decision. A motion ought to be tabled to review that decision and vote on the side of sustainable democracy for the sake of the generations of Edo people alive and those yet unborn. Anything short of this would entitle the present members of that House to an unenviable space in the political museum of infamy.”
Mr. Chris Nehikhare
In his personal opinion, the state publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Mr. Chris Nehikhare described the EDHA as more than a rubber stamp. He called the house “a worldwide disgrace”
He said “Edo state House of Assembly cannot be described as a rubber stamp house, they are the ink pad, a dry ink pad, unusable, good for nothing without self-worth. A disgrace to legislators worldwide. They equate to slaves that reject freedom for a pot of porridge.
“Even in the knowledge that their vote would not affect the “final Score”, the spineless men and woman in EDHA couldn’t resist showing off their servitude.”
Hon. Orobosa Omo-Ojo
Hon. Orobosa Omo-Ojo, a former Commissioner for Transport expressed disappointment over the decision reached by the House.
Speaking with NAIJA CENTER NEWS on Saturday, Omo-Ojo said the lawmakers put themselves first in a move to secure their second term ticket, overheads, and vehicles.
He said:”I know what went in before their so-called votes. They elected themselves to go find out from the executive and the APC leadership how they should vote.
Then why did they do it?
I found out that they didn’t want to be on the wrong side of their party because all of them wanted their return ticket of the house. So, why are we where we are now? because of the failure of the mechanism of the internal democracy in the state. Both the APC and PDP over the years had decided to give their ticket to “loyal boys and girls” not minding who will represent them in these offices.
So we have a garden of 24 boys and a lady who their primary aims are to continuously remain in the office without looking at the larger benefit to the society and the House of Assembly. Their action has continued to destroy the institution called Edo State House of Assembly because there are others like me and you who may want to contest tomorrow to be House members and may not be able to find their ways there.
It is sad for legislative democracy, it is a sad day for our local government, and to the twenty-four constituencies that these guys represent.
The judiciary has turned themselves to the weeping boys and girls in the system. The Judiciary is to stabilize the system by the quality of their rulings. Even at this point, because they have not been able to get their autonomy, they get permission from executive before making a ruling. Even a Chief Judge would wait for hours to see a governor because of overhead.
I expected the judiciary, the speaker, and the Chief judge to have met to decide. By now, if it is a state where we trust the judges, I can take an order of mandamus to say we want to fight the House of Assembly to set aside their ruling but you can’t try that with any of the judges because they are all scared of what the governor will do to them.
Speaking on the role of the state government in the rejection, the former Commissioner said “I have it on record that members of the house went to the executive to ask whether to vote for their (the institution) freedom or remain slaves. I can’t blame the governor or the chairman of the party, they should blame themselves. These 24 members are anti-people because they want their vehicles, their overheads, and their second term, so they took a selfish, myopic and shortsighted decision. “
Barrister Kenneth Imasuagbon:
A former aspirant in the 2016 governorship election, Barrister Kenneth Imasuagbon urged the EDHA to revert immediately the rejection.
He asked the lawmakers to leave or be voted house in 2020 since they could not free Edo people from bondage.
He said “If they don’t want autonomy, they should leave and if they don’t leave, the people will vote them out. They are hungry people. This is the hypocrisy of the country when you are in power; you do whatever benefits you. If the legislator wants to be slaves to the executive, they will only be a slave when they are there now.
“It is a big shame to them, every tier of government must have their autonomy and that is the beauty of democracy. We want a free judiciary and legislator. If they say what is happening in Edo state is not democracy but autocracy, they should let us know. How dare them to shatter the will of the people by rejecting autonomy?”
He continued “Edo state House of Assembly must emulate President Buhari. Is he not APC too? He refused to intervene in the emergence of Saraki and Dogara, so why will EDHA rejects its autonomy. They will see the anger of the people in 2020. When people are slaves to hunger they can do anything. If they don’t’ want autonomy what are they doing in the House of Assembly? This is not the Edo Ali came from, this is not the Edo Enahoro came from or where Ogbemudia came from.
“They should Revert with immediate effect the rejection of autonomy. The autonomy and sanctity of independence cannot be thrown away, it is the identity of democracy. The judiciary interprets the action, inaction and every citizens and legislature checks the excesses of the executive. It makes law and checks the action and inaction of the executive whether it conforms with the constitution of Nigeria, so why would they say they don’t want autonomy? It is very annoying, does drinking pepper soup at government house enough to sell your identity? It is a big shame for the Speaker of the House to preside over such matter, it shows they are not on the side of the people. The independence of the House of Assembly is the freedom of Edo people. This is not a democracy, it is very vexatious and annoying.”