The National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has labelled Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State a coward following his alleged refusal to allow the State House of Assembly function.

The former governor of Lagos State also accused Obaseki of resorting to strong-arm tactics of dictators, adding that the governor has committed an impeachable offence.

Tinubu, while reacting to the political crisis in Edo State said, the governor’s alleged refusal to inaugurate elected members of the State House of Assembly showed he is ignorant of Nigeria’s constitutional order.

Describing his actions as cowardly, Tinubu accused Obaseki of sponsoring hoodlums to deface and destroy the House of Assembly building under the pretext of renovation.

Governor Godwin Obaseki. [dailypost]
Governor Godwin Obaseki. [dailypost]

He said, “The recent actions of the Governor of Edo State represent the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern.

“Not satisfied with making a mockery of our constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, Governor Obaseki has now resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.

“First, he sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin, feigning the building is undergoing renovation. Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex. In effect, the man has spent state funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold. He has squandered public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.

“As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo. No renovation has been planned for the state house building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.

“Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order. By his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties, Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.”

Tinubu further accused Obaseki of placing himself above the state’s legislature. He said if every governor behaves as he, “the entire edifice of democratic governance in Nigeria would grind to a complete halt.”

The current political crisis in Edo State took a new twist on Thursday, August 6, 2020, with the emergence of Victor Edoror as the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.