Nigeria: I'm Not Behind Takeover Bid of Edo Assembly - Oshiomhole

19 July 2019

Abuja — National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has denied allegations of sponsoring the takeover of the Edo State House of Assembly by the House of Representatives.

The denial came as the Senate ad hoc committee investigating the crisis rocking the state assembly yesterday met with the lawmakers being supported by the national leadership of the APC.

Oshiomhole made the clarification in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem, in reaction to the allegation made against him by the Speaker of the assembly, Mr. Frank Okiye.

"The allegation is a figment of their imagination. Ordinarily, I will not want to be drawn into frivolous allegations such as this, and sundry others, emanating from Mr. Frank Okiye, one of the members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly.

"But, let me state that the allegation is untrue. As members of the National Assembly, it is their duty to intervene on issues such as the Gestapo manner the Edo State House of Assembly was inaugurated. This will not be the first time the National Assembly has so intervened, and I am sure the lawmakers also have provisions in their budget for carrying out such duties.

"Okiye may have seen the national chairman holding such meetings in his own dreams and not in the physical and I urge him to desist from such frivolous allegations.

"Oshiomhole remains Oshiomhole, and no amount of blackmail and threat from these little minded anti democrats and their cohorts can destroy that name," the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Senate ad hoc committee investigating the crisis rocking the state assembly yesterday met with the lawmakers being supported by the national leadership of the APC.

At the meeting, which held at the Senate New Building, National Assembly Complex in Abuja, were 12 of the 14 members-elect loyal to APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

It would be recalled that on June 17, 2019, 10 out of the 24-member Assembly were inaugurated under controversial circumstances.

The inaugurated lawmakers were said to be loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki, while the 14 lawmakers-elect that were left out of the inauguration ceremony have the backing of APC chairman Oshiomhole.

Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved members-elect at the meeting, Washington Osifo, member-elect representing Uhunwonde State Constituency, said they did not receive any communication from the Clerk on the inauguration.

While accusing the governor of "unleashing terror" on them using state apparatus, Osifo claimed that one of the lawmakers-elect has been kidnapped.

According to Osifo, the new lawmakers have been residing in Abuja for about one month now, even as he called on the Senate to intervene in the matter.

Among the members-elect at the meeting was Seidu Oshiomhole, younger brother to the APC National Chairman.

Chairman of the committee and Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger), called for calm, assuring that the upper legislative chamber is only interested in restoring public peace and order in the state assembly.

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