Mr. Oshiomhole blamed the crisis in the state on the four state lawmakers who defected to PDP.
The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has alleged that the current political crisis in his state was part of the plan by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to destabilise the state ahead of the 2015 general election.
Mr. Oshiomhole stated this, Tuesday, while fielding questions from State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, after attending the Council of State meeting.
The governor who boasted that he had defeated the PDP in all the elections conducted in the state and all the 18 local government areas including the local government of a PDP leader, Tony Anenih, since 2009, vowed that he would not be intimidated or made to succumb to the destabilising antics of the party
“What they are trying to do now is that, having lost in all the election, having been rejected by the Edo people and knowing that another election is coming, they want to destabilise the state and even intimidate my person.
“One Methuselah, or Olisa Metuh or by whatever name he is called, was reported as saying that I am destabilising Edo State because I want to contest for vice presidency. Now, that is standing logic upside down. If I want to contest the vice presidency do I need to destabilise the government that I currently head?” Mr. Oshiomhole asked.
He noted that the PDP members were displaying the culture of impunity and refusing to obey the laws, but assured Edo people that only those on the side of the law would prevail in the end.
“I’m sure you have seen on the news channel that they boastfully said they will not obey the court order. ln fact, they described the court order as useless. And when the bailiff went to serve them the contempt paper, they harassed and abused the hell out of the bailiff. Which means these guys, because they are members of the PDP, believe they are above the law; they are above the court and that court orders are not meant to be obeyed.
“You have some people who believe that because they are members of the PDP that they are above the law and they want to celebrate the culture of impunity. But I am a product of struggle. All my life, I’m used to people who think that they are much more than what they are. And my own life history tells me that only the man on the side of truth is on the side of God and only that could survive,” he said.
Governor Oshiomhole, while tracing the history of the crisis, blamed it on the four members of the state’s House of Assembly who defected to PDP.
“The issue in Edo is straightforward; four members of the PDP on their own went to court asking the Federal High Court to ask the Speaker not to declare their seats vacant. Number two, asking the Court to restrain the Speaker and the House of Assembly from carrying out any disciplinary action against them. The court granted these two reliefs. Now the issue is, I can understand why they were asking that their seats should not be declared vacant because they had changed camp, the penalty as provided by Section 109 of the Constitution. But they also went on to ask the court to restrain the Speaker from suspending them based on internal disciplinary issues,” Mr. Oshiomhole disclosed.
He explained that the court granted both prayers.
“When the motion was argued by both sides, the court ordered that the Speaker should still not declare their seats vacant pending the determination of the substantive suit.
However, the court vacated the order restraining the House and the Speaker from suspending them for any alleged misconduct on the ground that the court cannot prevent an arm of government from carrying out internal disciplinary measures. Now having vacated one leg of the other, the House met subsequently based on their rules and suspended these four members,” he explained.
Mr. Oshiomhole pointed out that in a democracy there was only one civilised to contest an unfair action- by going to court- and lambasted the lawmakers for refusing to abide by the suspension order in clear violation of the rules of the House of Assembly.
He explained that the House, determined to be on the right side of the law, decided that rather than physically resolve the matter decided to approach the High Court to ask it to grant interim injunction restraining the four suspended members from coming into the House of Assembly.
He noted that “because the police was aiding and abetting these suspended members, the House also asked the court to restrain the police from aiding and abetting these people from violating the suspension order.”
The High Court, he said, later granted these orders.
“Ironically, the only reason Edo tax payers money is spent to maintain these honourable members of the House is to make laws for the good governance of the state and yet you who live on law making you are the first to dismiss the order of a High Court even when you were the first to approach the High Court for protection. And as we speak you are enjoying that protection but the other leg of the court decision that is against you, you choose to disobey it,” the governor said.
He accused the police of excessive use of power and compromising the commercial and economic life of Edo State by aiding and abetting the four lawmakers.
“One thing is that election is coming in 2015 and we have defeated PDP consistently since 2009 that I assume office. Every bye-election, they lost. The last National Assembly election we defeated them in the whole of Edo South which is about 51 per cent of the population, we defeated them in Edo North which is about 33 per cent of the population, we defeated them in Edo Central which accounts for about 17 per cent of the population.
“So they have let out the cat; meaning that they are afraid for their own rumoured ambition that I want to contest vice presidency. So the point I want to make is that, if I decide even to contest for the presidency, PDP cannot intimidate me, I have a right to do so if it is my conviction. It is unfortunate that some people want to put their individual interest above national interest and I cannot be intimidated. I’m firmly on ground and there is nothing to worry about.”