Reasons Ativie Stepped Down as Edo House Speaker

The Speaker of Edo House of Assembly Elizabeth Ativie has resigned. She was said to have stepped down to balance the lopsided offices in the government of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The new Speaker, Hon. Justin Okonoboh, who was the Deputy Speaker before now hails from Edo Central and first timer in the House.
Speculations were rife last week that, Rt. Hon. (Mrs.) Ativie, may step aside in the coming weeks for another lawmaker from the Central Senatorial District, with a view to making way for political equity in the state.
Recall that Hon. Ativie, became Speaker of the House, following the impeachment of Victor Edoror of Esan extraction, on 3 May, 2016, over an alleged financial mismanagement and high handedness.
It was reliably gathered that the decision to cede the position of Speaker back to the Esan people was the fall-out of a meeting between Governor Oshiomhole and party leaders from the Central, to assuage the feeling of marginalization by people of the area, who lost the Deputy Governor slot to Edo North.
It is also believed that the action became necessary to arrest the electoral backlash the marginalization of the Central District posed ahead of the September 10 governorship election.
The lawmakers were said to have met with the Governor Oshiomhole and Party Leaders on the development and a motion was expected to be moved on the floor of the House to bring the new changes about.
The action of Ativie is said to be panic measure by Oshiomhole and leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state over the threat of Edo Central (Esan speaking people) to vote against the party in the forth coming governorship election.
Edo Central had cried out against what it termed the obvious marginalisation of the Esan people in Oshiomhole’s government after its only high ranking member of the government, the former Speaker,
Edoror, was Impreached three months ago in an unclear circumstances, allegedly instigated by the Governor.
Edo Central had expected that the zoned will be allowed to produce the governorship candidate or Deputy Governor of APC , after Oshiomhole, who comes from Edo North eight years, especially as Lucky Igbinedion , from Edo South was in charge for eight years.
Edo Central has neither produced Governor or Deputy Governor in the last 16 years aside the late Ambrose Alli, who ruled between 1979 and 1983.
To make matters worse Oshiomhole refused Edo Central in all his appointments as all openings were filled with Edo South and Edo North.
It was gathered that the decision for Ativie to step down was taken after Philip Shuaibu (from the same constituency with Oshiomhole) was nominated as Deputy to Godwin Obaseki (Edo North).
Edo Central was said to have cried to high heavens that it was another way to make the zone irrelevant in the political equation of the state.
Ativie stepped down after a motion was moved by the Majority Leader, Folly Ogedengbe, under matters of urgent public importance, for a change in the leadership of the House.
Ogedengbe was said to have explained that the change was necessary to ensure fairness in the political system, so that all three senatorial districts would be adequately represented, since Governor hails from Edo North senatorial district while his Deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu, and Ativie hails from Edo South.
Ogedegbe said it was therefore imperative that someone from Edo Central senatorial district be the Speaker and Mrs Ativie would therefore become Deputy.
Ogedengbe said: “I going to move that there is a change of leadership in the House in order that this state moves forward, that there will be fairness and equity in the system, that the three senatorial districts will be properly accommodated. I am going to move with a heavy heart. “I move, therefore, that the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie, should step down and assume office as Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly and that the Deputy Speaker, Dr. Justin Okonoboh, be promoted as the new Speaker.‎”
He said that 17 members out 24 of the House had supported the change of leadership, but 18 members stood up for identification in support of the motion, which was seconded by the member representing Oredo West, Chris Okaeben.
Ativie accepted the change also, and despite her short stay in office she commended the lawmakers for giving her the opportunity to serve and urged them to accord same to her successor.
She said: “Although this is a huge a difficult sacrifice to make, I believe that it should be done for the sake of the people of Edo state. No sacrifice will be too big to pay in meeting the yearning aspirations of or people, who elected us to this House‎. Today, I bury my pride and my ambition for the general good of the people and the state, through which I emerged as a legislator.”
Okonoboh on his part said that his emergence as Speaker was a result of wide consultations within the APC.
He noted that the new development was a House matter that was devoid of any interference from the Governor.
He also commended Ativie for her willingness to step down in a manner unprecedented in the entire country, vowing that all her appointments would remain‎ valid.

Author: News Editor

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