“Obaseki’s governance recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order,” Mr Tinubu wrote in a statement on Twitter, Friday.
IN DEFENCE OF CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY
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.
— Bola Ahmed Tinubu (@AsiwajuTinubu) August 7, 2020
Mr Tinubu said this on the heels of the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly after some lawmakers loyal to the APC were sacked.
Mr Obaseki himself, now seeking re-election in September on the radar of the People’s Democratic Party, won his first term on the platform of the APC.
He decamped to the PDP after he lost this year’s primary to APC’s preferred candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, following a fallout with the party’s former chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Reacting to the sack of some pro-APC lawmakers by the State Assembly, Mr Tinubu has now accused Mr Obaseki of highhandedness, disregard for the constitution and working against the people of Edo State.
Mr Obaseki has resorted to “strong arm tactics of dictators” by refusing “to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties,” Mr Tinubu noted.
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This, Mr Tinubu added, shows “Mr Obaseki (portrayed) contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order.”
Mr Obaseki’s actions “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.
“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.”
The crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly reached a height on Thursday when Victor Edoror was sworn in as speaker, after Francis Okiye was ousted as speaker during a meeting at an undisclosed location in Benin, the state capital.
Mr Edoror, who was impeached as deputy speaker in 2018, was elected speaker by 17 lawmakers said to be loyal to Adams Oshiomhole.
Since 2019, when they were elected, 14 of the state’s 24 lawmakers were not sworn in. These 14, alongside three others that had been sworn in, saw to the removal of Mr Edoror.