The chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, EKiti Central), has berated Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State over the invasion of the State Assembly Complex in Benin City last week Thursday by thugs allegedly on the orders of the governor.
He described the actions as unlawful, subversive and a damning threat to democracy in Nigeria.
Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Sunday, Bamidele stressed that the continued onslaught on the Honourable Members of the Edo State House of Assembly by Obaseki should be condemned and resisted by all lovers of democracy because the legislature is an integral and critical component of democracy anywhere around the world.
He maintained that the deliberate and inordinate sabotage of the legitimate activities of the lawmakers in the State legislature is a direct invitation to anarchy and this must be promptly halted before the situation is allowed to get out of hands.
According to him, the legislature, because of its representative power in a democracy, is the mirror of the will of the the people which must not be subverted by anybody under whatever guise.
“The legislature is the chief means of expressing popular will, a body that can speak on behalf of, and for, the people. It is, therefore, the assembly of the people’s minds and the general will of the populace within a polity’,he stressed.
He added that the desperation of Governor Obaseki to secure a second term in office should not be allowed to desecrate, destroy and totally subvert the legislative institution in Edo State, saying “democratic sustainability demands that political players should moderate and caution their political behaviours in order to safeguard the sanctity of democracy and institutions of democratic governance.”
Throwing caution to the wind by gladiators, he stated , may likely jettison survival of democracy and the genuine desires and aspirations of the people.
He therefore implored the civil society community and other Stakeholders of the political process in Nigeria to prevail on Obaseki to allow members of the Edo State House of Assembly resume their constitutional duties without further delay.
“The wanton wastage of the resources and the hard-earned Edo State tax payers’ money on the platter of vindictive politics, campaign of calumny, political arm-twisting and the continued halt of legislative activities in the Edo State House of Assembly is inimical to democracy and an affront against the people whose votes Obaseki is currently desperately courting to get a second term.
“Continued brazen efforts aimed at debarring the Edo State lawmakers from performing their legislative functions as required by law is not only a contempt against the wishes of the good people of Edo State but also a gross violation of the 1999 Constitution as well as a punitive expedition against democratic governance in Nigeria,” Bamidele said.
He admonished the governor to rescind his actions in the interest of peace and tranquility in the State and desist from taking actions that may likely cause irreparable damage to the democratic institutions, thereby encouraging the total breakdown of law and order in the state.