Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday insisted that the seats of the 14 All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly lawmakers in the state remains vacant, stressing that they were dissidents and refused to be inaugurated.
The governor, who stated this when he paid a “thank-you” visit to the PDP national secretariat over the outcome of the Edo State governorship election, said he lacked the power to reinstate the lawmakers because they had stayed away for more than the 180 days stipulated in the constitution for which their seats were declared vacant.
He further lambasted the lawmakers for adhering to the leadership of godfathers, who promised to grant them things that were not constitutional.
Obaseki said, “We have a dissident group that people were elected and refused to be inaugurated, they were not prevented. They were listening to their godfather who kept hoping and promising that he would unconstitutionally get the state House of Assembly to reissue a proclamation even after the court had settled the matter”.
“For more than 180 days, they did not come. They refused to represent the people. Those seats became vacant; that’s what the constitution says. They went to court after they were declared vacant by the Speaker. There is nothing I can do about it at this time. I wish it didn’t happen but people were playing god and promising what is not constitutional”.
“I’m not the one that plant people into the house of assembly, they, on their own operated the rules the way it should be and the seats are now vacant”.
“Even if I wanted today to bring them back, I don’t have such powers,” he said.
Speaking earlier, he thanked the party leadership for easing his entry into the PDP as well as ensuring his victory at the polls.
Obaseki added, “Our gratitude will be better expressed by staying loyal and by rebuilding and making sure that as long as God permits, PDP will remain the party in control in Edo State and the whole of the South-South.”
On his part, national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, urged the governor to meet the expectations of the people of the state.