17 Edo lawmakers at secret meeting conduct inauguration, elect Edoror as speaker
The crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly climaxed on Thursday with a meeting of 17 out of the 24 lawmakers at a secret location in the Benin City where they elected Mr Victor Tiger Edoror as Speaker.
To assist Edoror as deputy speaker is Mr Yekini Idiaye (Akoko Edo 1) who was removed on Wednesday by seven of the members at a session which held at Government House and presided over by Speaker Frank Okiye.
Speaking on their mobile phones, both Edoror (Etsako Central) and Oshomah Ahmed (Etsako Central) confirmed their inauguration but refused to disclose the venue of the ceremony.
Edoror claimed that the photographs and news of the inauguration and his election as speaker in place of Okiye were real as the 17 lawmakers met for their inauguration.
Ahmed, a scion of the popular Etsako musician, Sir Waziri Oshomah, corroborated Edoror saying that it was the best time to take over the affairs of the House as the 17 members are all members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as against the seven members who recently defected to the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after a long wait.
Edoror added that whatever the Okiye-led House did in the past was illegal following the night time inauguration on June 17 last year.
Edoror said that the position of Leader of the House will be determined by the APC.
He said: “It is true that 17 of us have been inaugurated. The report of the inauguration all over on social media is true. Speaking with you is the speaker. Idiaye is deputy speaker. Minority cannot preside over majority. They are seven while we are 17. We have the majority and will preside over the House. There is nowhere where minority rules the majority in a democracy.”
Asked how he and the rest 16 members intend to take over the Assembly complex, he said that they will as it does not belong to one individual but the property of all Edo people.
For refusing to present their certificates of return to the clerk of the House for, Okiye had on December 4 last year declared vacant the seats of 12 members-elect.
Also, the seats of Mr Uyi Ekhosuehi and Henry Okaka representing Oredo East and Owan East respectively were also declared vacant by Okiye for absconding from plenary after the inauguration of the seventh assembly on June 17, 2019.
The affected 12 members-elect are Vincent Uwadiae (Ovia North-East 2), Ugiagbe Dumez (Ovia North-East 1), Washington Osifo (Uhunmwode), Edoror, Kingsley Ugabi, Michael Ohio-Ezomo (Owan West).
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