Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Edo 2020 election, has debunked reports that the impeachment of the former Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Francis Okiye, was conducted in his house.
Naija News reports that Ize-Iyamu spoke to State House Correspondents on Friday after he was received and endorsed by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja.
The APC governorship candidate also accused Godwin Obaseki, the Edo State governor, and his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, of executing a coup against the Edo State House of Assembly by allegedly initiating schemes to prevent the legislature to perform its constitutional duties.
Ize-Iyamu expressed appreciation to the leadership of the party, especially to President Buhari, whom he said gave him a reception beyond his expectation.
Addressing the question of illegality at the State House of Assembly and impeachment of Hon Okiye conducted in his house, The governorship candidate, who fielded questions from State House Correspondents, said there was no time lawmakers used his house to conduct the meeting.
His words: “On the question of the House of Assembly, let me quickly debunk what you said, nothing was done in my sitting room. So that statement is false and there is no truth in it.
“Number two, it is not I or the APC that is condoning illegality, I think it is Obaseki that has been condoning illegality. Because, for over a year, he was running a house that was not properly constituted. I’m sure all of you know that whereas we had 24 members in the house, just because he wasn’t sure he could have his way, he invited those nine members and inaugurated them at 9:49 pm at night.
“One day, the purported speaker woke up and said he had declared their seats vacant, but even they themselves never believed it. I will tell you that a week before the governor left the party, he held a meeting with the 14 people that he said are no longer members of the House, inviting them as members-elect and asking for a truce so that they can come back.
“So the reality is that we all know that declaring their seats vacant was not valid. And for your information, it is not the venue that legitimises parliamentary sessions, the members and the symbol of authority, the maze, once it is in place, they can sit anywhere, they can deliberate and there are many examples to that effect.
“So what you saw yesterday is that the governor left the executive arm and invaded the legislative arm and took control. There is clear separation of powers. You have three governors here and in their state, the House of Assembly is autonomous. You don’t see the governors going there to operate. But the governor of Edo and deputy took over the Assembly and vandalized the place, they said they are renovating it.
“Ask them, the budget that they passed including the revised one, is there a provision for the renovation of the House of Assembly? There is none. So, if there is no such provision, how can you begin to remove the roof during raining season if not because you have sinister motives.
“So that will tell you that, all what they were trying to do was to truncate legislative arm and stop them from sitting. So if anyone was doing a coup, they were the ones doing a coup against the legislative arm of government yesterday. And we are happy that our people have risen to it”, he explained.
On allegations against him and the APC, by the PDP and the state government, on alleged plots to employ violence to disrupt the electoral process in the upcoming election, Ize-Iyamu returned the allegation to Governor Obaseki and his deputy, Shaibu, citing recent attacks on his billboards and posters.
“On the issue of violence that you mentioned, if you ask your correspondents in Edo, it is the governor that has been beating the war drums. My billboards are being vandalized, nobody has touched their own.
“We wrote petitions to the commissioner of police, the Director DSS and they will attest to the fact that on a regular basis they are destroying our Billboards. They are the ones that want to make the state ungovernable and I am sure you heard the governor say that himself and his deputy have immunity and so they can deal with anybody.
“I don’t have immunity, I don’t want to go to jail and it is not in my character to deal with anyone. They did their flag off at the stadium, nobody molested them. This morning I placed a call to the DSS director to tell him that I am aware that the deputy governor has sent money to the student union leaders, appealing to them to come and demonstrate at Ugbowo, which is the route we are taking to our flag off tomorrow (Saturday). Of course the boys were just looking at him and informed us.
“So we are not beating any war drum, we believe in peace, our president believes in peace, our party leaders believe in peace and we cannot disappoint them.
So I can assure you that on our part, we will conduct ourselves in a peaceful manner, our campaign will be done peacefully, the elections by the grace of God will be done peaceful. We are only appealing to the PDP and the governor to do the same,” he said.