By Deborah Coker
The PDP has criticized Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo for removing four council chairmen, elected on the platform of the APC from office.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four council chairmen were removed from office between Aug. 2 and Oct. 10 this year.
The Chairman of the PDP in Edo, Chief Dan Orbih, said it was wrong and unconstitutional for the governor to remove anyone constitutionally elected by the people from office.
Orbih was speaking on Wednesday in Benin after receiving an award bestowed on him by the Edo State Chapter of the Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP).
Represented by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Edo, Mr Chris Nehikhare, Orbih said it was disheartening and a rape of democracy for a democratically elected governor to remove an equally democratically elected Local Government Council chairman.
The party stalwart was referring to the recent suspension of the council chairmen in Edo by the governor. All of the removed chairmen were elected on the platform of the ruling APC.
The suspended council chairmen are Mr Aremiyau Momoh of Etsako East, Mr Yakson Musa of Etsako West, Ms Eghe Ogbemudia of Egor and Mr Patrick Aguinede of Esan West.
It will be recalled that Obaseki had similarly sacked secretaries in all the 18 Local Government Councils citing corruption and abuse of office by the sacked officials.
Orbih, however, cautioned the governor to reverse the sacking, arguing that removing of elected officials by another elected official was undemocratic and ultra vires.
“These chairmen were not appointed by the governor but were elected by the people in their respective council areas.
“The governor knows very well that for any action to be taken against the chairmen, such action must emanate from the Edo State House of Assembly after due investigation.
“But the present action of the governor certainly points towards a fallout of the political differences between him and his predecessor.
“They should not allow their internal crisis or differences to affect the people of Edo State.”
The PDP chief also called on the governor to appreciate the fact that the Local Government system was recognised by the Nigerian Constitution.
Orbih advised the governor to also desist from interfering in the financial independence of the councils and allow the chairmen to discharge the duties for which they were elected.
The Chairmen of the CRPP in Edo, Dr Samson Isibor, described people considered for the award as people who had distinguished themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour.
He said that the award was given to Orbih in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of democratic values through constructive criticisms and fighting executive corruption.