EDO: Warring lawmakers to be recalled — Hon. Inegbeneki

Chief Francis Inegbeneki is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State. He reacts, in this interview, on the crisis in the state House of Assembly, saying the leadership of the party in Edo Central will commence the processing of recalling the suspended Speaker,  Festus Ebea, for going against Governor Adams Oshiomhole who is their in-law.

He also speaks on the defection of some APC members in the state to the PDP, and expresses the confidence that they will return to the APC before the 2016 governorship election in Edo. Excerpts:

 

 

Some members of your party (APC) recently defected to the PDP. Why were you leaders unble to solve the problem We did all we could to solve the problem including the governor begging them without us knowing that they had their own agenda. We did not expect that the disagreement will go this far. It all started during the congress when some members who lost out cried out.

 

We, the leaders, thought it was just a misunderstanding, and the leaders made efforts to speak to all parties but we discovered that those who lost the congress were vehement, addressing press conferences, giving the governor ultimatum. Some people were fueling it, but the issue is that, if you lose today, you can win tomorrow.

 

But in this case, these people never saw it that way, it is like they had another agenda. The crisis is normal in any political party but it is over now. It is obvious they left the party because of their agenda, but let us see how they can make it in future.

 

But are you people not going to miss Pastor Ize-Iyamu?
Ize-Iyamu is a politician that we respect, he worked for the APC. As our friend and brother, we miss him but his exit will not affect the fortunes of the APC in Edo. If you observe properly, most of his followers did not go with him because some of them believe that the Comrade Governor is working for the Edo people and that is the major issue, not the ambition of a few.

 

But the way he handled it is not good considering his relationship with the governor. Yes, we lost some members to the PDP, but some PDP members are also joining APC. There are people who left APC for PDP because of Ize-Iyamu and, today, we see those people also coming back to APC because they believe they cannot work together. Politics is about alignment and re-alignment.

 

However, Ize-Iyamu is my friend, he should put ego aside and come back home before the doors will be shut. He was part and parcel of this party, he knows that the people in PDP will not welcome him. They only want to use him and dump him. He knows that the PDP will never give him the governorship ticket, they will not even allow him to call leadership meeting.

 

There is already a crack now in PDP with his coming into the party because the PDP god father in Edo Central is not happy with the way another godfather from Edo South brought Ize-Iyamu into the PDP. My advice is that Ize-Iyamu should not be ashamed to come back home.

 

Edo Assembly crisis
Frankly speaking, I see what is happening in the House of Assembly as a show of shame. I see it as the ant trying to challenge the elephant. We were in this state when members suspended erring lawmakers and the lawmakers accepted the suspension.  We are surprised that the lawmakers who were suspended refused to play by the rules. The crisis is being fueled from Abuja.

 

They must abide by the court ruling because they went to court to pray it not to suspend or declare their seats vacant. The court granted that their seats should not be declared vacant but rejected the prayer that they should not be suspended.

 

The court declared that it is within the powers of the House to suspend and based on that they were suspended but they still refused to obey the High Court order after the House obeyed the Federal High Court order by not declaring their seats vacant.

 

I am bothered that the Deputy Speaker who is from our place is involved in this and he forgot that he was not the one that gave himself the office but the Esan people. The Deputy Speaker did not consult with the leaders and people before he defected to PDP, leading the rebellion against Oshiomhole.

 

Before he was made Deputy Speaker, the leaders and traditional rulers from Esan met with the governor where we pleaded that Edo Central should produce the Speaker. But the governor explained that there is a law existing already which says that a first timer cannot be Speaker otherwise Ebea would have been Speaker. So the governor gave him Deputy Speaker but when he got it he started fighting the governor.

 

As a leader from Edo Central we do not support what he is doing, we in Edo Central don’t have problem with the governor because he is our in-law. Ebea’s actions has made us to lose Deputy Speakership. As a result the leaders have commenced the process to recall him because he does not have our mandate to fight the governor. Ebea is on his own.

 

The Esan people passed a vote of confidence on the governor because he has touched our lives in Esan land in many ways. The governor never hates Esan as they are lying; he married an Esan woman, he is our brother and son.

 

Edo 2016
Between now and 2016 the people will know the truth. What the PDP is doing now is to deceive our people, promising what they will not do, just to get the people to join the party. But when they get there they will discover that nothing is there to grab.

 

It is all about politics of stomach but by the time these people who are joining the PDP discover that there is no gold there, they will come back to the APC before the 2016 governorship election. Some are crying that they have not benefited from any contract; how do you benefit when you are not a contractor?

 

So do you want Oshiomhole to just give you money for a job that you cannot execute? Oshiomhole will not do that. We are happy with his developmental strides. And I want to appeal to APC leaders, let us think about the state and not our own interestS. What should be of concern to us is that Oshiomhole must continue in developing Edo as he is doing and not what we can get from him. The man is working.

 

Ekiti Election
A lot of things went wrong, our national chairman, Odigie Oyegun, said before the election that the PDP was planning to rig the election. Of course, you saw the build up to the election.  The police, army and Civil Defence are agents of the PDP and of course when you deploy them to that area, the voters will feel intimidated.

 

That deployment of soldiers was an attempt to intimidate the APC people in the state and that gave room for manipulations by the PDP. If you look at the number of votes and the original voters list in Ekiti, you will find that a lot of people were disenfranchised and that was what APC suffered.

 

APC supporters were scared of coming out because some of them were earmarked for elimination or arrest, so what is the free and fair thing in that election.

 
 
 
 

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