Gone with the wind, fresh trouble brewing in Edo Assembly
Though it had thawed, another is brewing. Trouble seems popping in the yet-to-be inaugurated State House of Assembly as newly elected members and elected old members engage each other in nifty political maneuverings on who occupies principal offices, but party leaders are said to be set in containing a snowball, it was gathered.
Edo people had barely survived an impasse; two laying claim to the Speakership seat. One an impostor, supported by the former occupiers of Aso Villa and the security agencies, the other, though frail but with the necessary legal backing of the constitution. One went with the wind, the latter endured and still sits.
It was an inter-party feud but the latest, intra-party. Very interesting but not palatable, if it dovetailed to crisis. In party politics, you cannot do without intrigues and nocturnal meetings. Lobbying and agitations. Maneuverings and subterfuge. Deception is also part of the game. The struggle for relevance and power through political offices is a-never-ending game and would keep evolving with new formulae. In all, and in the end, a winner must emerge just as losers.
The PDP had been pounded politically both at the national and state levels; being the losers, they had since gone with the wind but, in this unfolding struggle for who gets what in the emerging House of Assembly, we are yet to see who gets the boot.
The PDP had attempted to pull the rug off Oshiomhole’s feet using a few backward-looking elements in the old Assembly. Some of these undisciplined members formed themselves into a faction and not minding their infinitesimal number as required by law, appointed a Speaker and passed resolutions unto themselves. Clean copies were sent to Dan Orbih though.
Six of them formed themselves as a clog in the wheel of progress in the state just like we have today in Ekiti state. Who says they cannot impeach too, under Goodluck? It was obtainable but a hard nut was there for them to crack in Edo; Oshiomhole.
Speaker Sam Igbe and courageous Philip Shaibu among other progressives would wound-up the session and the renegades would be missing when the history of this 7th Assembly would be written. If not completely off record, it sure would be dented, at least, on the negative side of history. Such is life.
Curiously, freshers and old timers are on each other’s throat in the expected 8th Assembly. It’s promising to be a vibrant house by all standards, if only the ruling party manages her sweet victory properly.
Barring any last minute change, but least expected, Edo Central would produce the Speaker. The Deputy Speaker would be sourced from Edo South while the Majority Leader retained in Edo North. And, reelected members may have ambushed the ‘jonnie-just-come’ others who are more in number, when it comes to voting.
There is, however, a stiff opposition to all these. There is already a gang-up; it’s allowed in politics. The new members numbering 15 are united and unanimous in their resolve to produce at least, the Deputy Speaker. For them, “we will allow the old members to choose first from the available principal offices. If they choose the Speaker, they should allow the new members to choose next. If that obtains, we will choose the Deputy Speaker but if not, we shall test our strength; 15 as against 9”, a freshman who preferred anonymity canvased.
He also demurred the idea of an old member being the Speaker. For him, it’s unconstitutional but he quickly buckled that the House rules provided for it. According to him, “I want to also say that there is nothing stopping a new member from being the Speaker. If all the elected members are freshmen, where do you elected your Speaker from”, he queried.
In the event of a collapse of party supremacy, there would be a show of strength in the hallowed chambers where names such as Mr. Edoror, Crosby, Ibea, Ogedengbe, Adjoto, Damian, Okhaeben, Ativie, Okhuarobo among others have been making headlines as among those to be expected to make the list of principal officers. And everything being equal, the Assembly is due for inauguration first week in June.
Etsako Central local government area is however crying of marginalization. They are eagerly looking forward to a plump office and they believe their expectation will not be sacrificed on the altar of ranking.
According to a position paper in the media recently by Mr. Ebomhiana Musa, “the local government has elected one of its young and brilliant minds, a legal practitioner to represent its interest in the House. I believe it’s yet another opportunity to prick the conscience of our party leaders to right some wrongs.
“Good enough, the APC won all the eight slots in Afemailand for the State House of Assembly in the April 11 elections. And only two of these eight are ranking members, those representing Owan East and Akoko Edo constituency Two.
“Again, only eight out of a 24-member house are returning (ranking) members. This clearly shows that the 16 new members can decide who gets what in the house by way of voting since politics is a game of numbers. But I believe the party leaders will not allow it to degenerate to that level.
“However, on behalf of our people, I plead that Etsako Central be considered for one of the key principal offices in the next legislative assembly. To some extent, that would balance this imbalance.
“Since law is made for man and not man for law, our Afemai brothers should give special consideration to Etsako Central in the sharing of principal positions zoned to Edo North for the sake of fairness and especially, in the spirit of brotherliness”.