Governor Adams Oshiomhole has dismissed insinuations and reports that he had a hand in the impeachment of the former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Victor Edoror.
Speaking when the new Speaker of the Assembly, Rt Hon Elizabeth Ativie led other Principal Officers and members of the Assembly to him in his office yesterday, Oshiomhole said “let me on behalf of myself, the government and the great people of Edo State congratulate you, my sister and my comrade, Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Ativie on your election as the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, and in the process making history as the first female speaker of the Hosue of Assembly from the time we were in the Mid-West Region to Bendel State and Edo State. I hope that the spirit of our women that have always desired that they occupy leadership positions and God’s wisdom and mercy will help you to get all the wisdom you need, the courage and the good health to function in your capacity as the speaker.
“In your opening remarks, you said something like apologizing for what you did secretly in your hallowed chambers, and it was just a statement in humility because you have said that only because you appreciate that although we run a presidential system in which you have the principles of separation of powers, but this separation of powers does not mean antagonistic arms of government, and the presidential system works better when the political arms, that is, the legislative and the executive interact and share both privileges and burdens of governance.
“I also believe that you also do recognize that as leaders of this State, both in the executive and the legislative branch, we have a shared responsibility for the unity of this State and for the stability of the State, and that we do have the responsibility of servicing the unity of this State, and the unity of the State is better serviced if there is equity, fairness and spread, both in the privileges and the challenges of governance.
“It is also important to use this occasion with your permission, Madam Speaker, to say that there have been too much insinuation in town and around the country. Some of our pressmen and women have chosen to elevate speculations as if they were facts and on the basis of their own imagination even write columns that are not informed either by facts or truth, sometimes based on what they themselves will do if they were in my privileged position rather than what I have done. I have had to live with a lot of mud thrown at my person as part of my own reward or some of the challenges of the very privileged position I hold in Edo State.
“I have read uninformed comments such as the impeachment of the former speaker Hon. Edoror was because he is not supporting Oshiomhole’s project in my determination to ‘impose a candidate on the party’. Some have gone to the ridiculous extent of suggesting that your emergence as a speaker is a prelude to impeaching the Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Egberamwen Odubu.
“There all kinds of uninformed, sickening speculations which not only are irritating, they are even more irritating when you realize that people who are very responsible, in the absence of any other source of information, appear to believe what might be described as sources from bush radio.
“I want to, therefore, with your permission, Madam Speaker use this opportunity to assure the people of Edo State and indeed the Nigerian people, many of whom know me, not just as a governor, but in my previous job as the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress. I am a democrat; I have the competence for contestation. I do not run away from contestation. I have the courage to speak out on what I believe in and to stand for what I believe in.
“The assumption that the Edo State House of Assembly consults and obtains permission from the executive before it acts is not only foolish, it is not informed by a very rudimentary knowledge of how parliament operates, particularly in a presidential system. It flows from the general assumption that houses of assemblies are rubber stamps; whatever they do is the dictates of government. In Edo State, we have had a robust relationship, but robust to the extent that our interest coincides with regard to projects, whether in the area of infrastructure, health care, education, you name it.”
The new speaker of Edo State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Ativie told the Governor “it will interest your Excellency to know that on Tuesday 3rd May 2016, the House effected a change in its leadership, and this led to my emergence as Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly.
“At this juncture your Excellency, I want to publicly on behalf of our members, all the twenty-four members of the Edo State House of Assembly apologize to your Excellency that we did it without letting you know because we knew that if for any reason it leaked, that you will not allow us to do it. That is why we took our notes among ourselves that we will not let you know.
“It is worthy of note that another history has been made in Edo State by divine arrangement and the pleasure of my very distinguished colleagues, I have emerged as the first female speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly in your time, a position that is cherished by the women of Edo State and the world at large.
“The House under my able leadership will continue to work harmoniously with your Excellency in our collective drive to transform Edo State into an enviable height.”