*’We’ll respect the wishes of Edo people’, says Obaseki
Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo Central Senatorial District, have hailed the emergence of an Esan man as the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA).
The leaders made the submission during a courtesy call on Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at Government House, in Benin City, the state capital.
Leader of the delegation, Prince Mackor Shaka Momodu, said the visit is to show solidarity with the governor and to appreciate his non-interference in the emergence of an Esan man as Speaker of the EDHA.
Momodu said, “Esan people have been yearning to have a speaker who is the number three person in the state. We thank you for carrying the party along and for allowing the decision of the party to stand and not interfere in the election of the Speaker.”
He added, “Among the six elected members of the Assembly from Esanland, five are already working with the new Speaker. We will reach out to the sixth member to align with the Speaker so we can give full cooperation to your administration.”
Governor Obaseki, on his part, said the ideals of All Progressives Congress (APC) are built on inclusiveness, adding that with the governor from Edo South, his Deputy from Edo North, it was only natural and fair for the Speaker of the State House of Assembly to come from Edo Central, which was the party’s stance in the matter.
“Politics should be about inclusiveness and every part of the whole must have a sense of belonging. Otherwise, you cannot carry everybody along. We want to build an Edo where fairness, equity, justice and inclusiveness reign in our party and that is what the party tried to demonstrate in the last House of Assembly election,” he said.
The governor said he is ready to support the decision of the Esan Leaders on the choice of the speaker and anybody who is not satisfied with the decision should toe the line of peace or seek redress in the court of law.
He noted, “My view on the leadership of the EDHA is to have a tripod arrangement in Edo State where each senatorial district has a sense of representation.”
Obaseki stated that the party presented leadership of Edo Central Senatorial District with the offer to choose who the leader of the House should be and they made a decision to stick with Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, which the party had to respect. He assured that the state executive will continue to maintain the cordial relationship it has built over the past few years with the legislative arm of government.
He called for participation of more women in the leadership structure of the APC in Edo Central to promote inclusiveness, noting, “APC is the ruling party in the state and we have to win more people to join our party. To achieve this, we must practice inclusiveness and bring more women into our politics. We will be shooting ourselves in the foot if we continue to relegate them. We should give them more chances at the table where decisions are being made in the party.”
Obaseki assured the leaders of more development in Esanland, noting that construction work is set to commence on the Ugboha-Ubiaja Road and that the vacancies that exist in all the boards in the state would be announced to allow party leaders from across the state choose right representatives.