A meeting convened by governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the leadership of the National Assembly to promote government’s policies that require legislative support was yesterday disrupted in Abuja when the lingering feud between Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole was mentioned.
House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, announced that the National Assembly had resolved to appeal the judgment of Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, restraining the National Assembly (NASS) from interfering in the affairs of Edo State House of Assembly. Justice Kolawole Omotosho in a ruling had stated that National Assembly could not compel Governor Godwin Obaseki to issue another proclamation within the lifespan of an existing proclamation for the inauguration of Edo House of Assembly.
However, Gbajabiamila said, “While addressing the issue of one party and one government; myself and the Senate President will want to draw our attention to the issue of the crisis in Bauchi and Edo states. While we were able to successfully resolve the issue in Bauchi State, which is an opposition state, unfortunately, we are unable to resolve that of Edo State. I think this is what we have to look at and prioritise. We should consider how to constitutionally address the issue.
As Gbaja made those comments, Obaseki interjected that he would neither cringe nor be cowed by anybody in the discharge of his duties as governor. As tempers began to rise, Senate President Ahmad Lawan called for the meeting to go into closed doors; during which he tried to circle the wagons, calming frayed nerves, even as a source disclosed that the atmosphere remained charged.
Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, who led the APC governors to the meeting tried to explain the agenda of the meeting earlier, noting that the absence of coordination has produced a crisis of trust, which could destroy the party and the political process if care was not taken. In what looked like a direct indictment of the APC leadership over the party’s political misfortunes, Masari said, “As leaders, we need to make amends, especially in the management of political relations among all party stakeholders.”
Earlier, Justice Kolawole Omotosho of the Port Harcourt Federal High Court had stated that the National Assembly could not compel Governor Obaseki to issue another proclamation within the lifespan of an existing proclamation for the inauguration of the state’s Assembly. The court gave the order in its judgment on a suit brought by Deputy Speaker of the Edo Assembly, Yekini Idiaye and representative of Ikpoba-Okha state constituency, Henry Okhuarobo. The plaintiffs had gone to court to challenge alleged moves by the National Assembly to take over the functions of the Edo House of Assembly