Governors elected on the of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has approached the federal lawmakers from the party in an effort to resolve the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly that has caused a serious discord between the state governor, Godwin Obaseki and the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The progressive governors believe that the rift between Obaseki and his erstwhile godfather, Oshiomhole, will wreck the party in Edo State if unresolved.
The governors recalled that crisis in Zamfara State caused the party to lose to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, which is why they stormed the National Assembly to look for ways of resolving the problem in Edo.
Both chambers of the National Assembly had asked Governor Obaseki to reconstitute the state House of Assembly by issuing a fresh proclamation, but the state House of Assembly went to court and got a judgement in their favour.
But the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, while speaking when the progressive governors visited the National Assembly yesterday, said they would challenge the judgement on the Edo House of Assembly composition, adding that it was an affront on the powers of the National Assembly.
The APC governors, however, pointed out that if they did not unite with the lawmakers, especially those in the National Assembly, the crisis will destroy their party.
Even though the governors said their main mission to the National Assembly was to propose a legislation on another date, they decried the events in Zamfara State that saw them lose the state to the opposition PDP.
They pointed out that the same scenario was playing out in Edo State, and said they want to work with the leadership of the National Assembly to resolve it.
Speaking during a visit to the leadership of the National Assembly made up of the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the co-chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, said they were ready to work with the members of the National Assembly. Masari, a former speaker of the green chamber, said all must work together at ensuring that the party does not suffer another Zamfara State fate.
“Crisis will destroy our party. We must not allow opposition like PDP to take our members. What happened in Zamfara State was avoidable. It was the crisis that made us lose Zamfara,” the Katsina State governor said, promising that the Progressive Governors’ Forum will comply with the provisions of their party constitution.
Masari said the committee he heads is preparing a legislative agenda for presentation to the National Assembly members, adding that “this time around, we are in the same page with the National Assembly members.
“We want the National Assembly to give us the opportunity to address some issues that affect not just the Progressives Governors’ Forum but the entire country. We will submit details of our request to the National Assembly in a later date,” Masari said.
He reminded them of President Buhari’s statement about the need for them as elected leaders to work together.
“The president wants us to build a relationship amongst the elected representatives,” Masari added.
In his response, Gbajabiamila said he and the Senate president wanted to the draw attention attention to crisis in Bauchi and Edo states.
“Whilst 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,” the speaker said.
Speaking further, Gbajabiamila said: “We should consider how to constitutionally address the issue. For those of us on this side, the National Assembly, we are surprised that the exclusive constitutional roles given to us as prescribed in Section 12 of the constitution, which is written unambiguously clear, is being tested.”
“We are a bit concerned about that. Of course, we have three arms of government and, on the basis of that, we will be going to court on this matter to resolve not just the judgement but to ensure that any other related issues like that do not come up again. The House of Representatives has adopted a theme, “The nation building is a joint task”; that is how we are operating in the National Assembly irrespective of our political party divides. We have resolved to come together when it comes to national issues. We believe that since there is one government, there should be a symbiotic relationship between the governors and the legislators,” Gbajabiamila added.
Also speaking, the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, said the visit was a special moment for them.
“This is the first meeting we will be holding with their progressive governors. The party and particularly the governors worked hard to ensure we emerged.
“We believe that you have done your part, the ball is now in our court. We intend to remain loyal party members and committed to the country to ensure the safety of the citizens,” Lawan said.
The governors in attendance were Nigeria Governors’ Forum chairman, Kayode Fayemi, and Governors Nasir el-Rufai, Mai Mala Buni, Babagana Umar Zulum, Yahaya Muhammadu and Umar Ganduje, Abubakar Sani Bello, Dapo Abiodun, Abdul-Rahman Abdulrazaq and Godwin Obaseki. (LEADERSHIP)