Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state on Thursday said the 14 lawmakers-elect the Edo State House of Assembly who are yet to be inaugurated have realised they were deceived and misdirected by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He however said while he feels sorry about their plight, he lacks the power to assist them in anyway since their seats have been declared vacant.
It will be recalled that The Edo State House of Assembly in December 2019 declared vacant the seats of the 12 members who have avoided the chamber since its inauguration on June 17,2019. The leadership held that two others who did not meet the mandatory sitting requirement were also affected.
Speaking on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, monitored by Daily Independent, Obaseki said there is no political solution to the issue as it is purely a constitutional matter.
According to him, the only options available to the embattled lawmakers-elect is for the court to make a pronouncement on the matter or for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a bye election which they are free to participate in.
He said “Well, it is quite unfortunate. I think a lot of them have now realised that they were deceived and misdirected. So they are very sorry about the actions they have taken. I feel sad about it. But unfortunately, there is nothing I can do personally today”.
“Those seats have been declared vacant as per the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. Today, I swore an oath to uphold the constitution, I cannot be seen to be violating it. The seats have been constitutionally declared vacant”.
“The only two constitutional things that can happen is either the court decides otherwise or INEC conducts fresh bye-election and they can come back and recontest. There is nothing that I as the governor of Edo state today can do otherwise”.
“This country is governed by the law and the constitution. There is no political solution that will be above our constitution”.
On his relationship with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, his opponent in the September 19 governorship election, Obaseki said while he is hoping to embrace Ize-Iyamu with open arms and welcome his positive contributions to governance in Edo state, Ize-Iyamu is yet to reach out to him.
“He hasn’t reached out to me. I have said it at several fora that there is no bitterness and that he should work with us. If he reaches out to me, I am sure we will embrace him. As I said, if he has anything positive to contribute to our government, we will welcome such contributions”.