The All Progressives Congress (APC), has condemned the crises going on in Edo and Bauchi States over election of officers in the Houses of Assembly.
The party said it was saddened by the ’embarrassing’ parliamentary election in the two states.
The party, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said it viewed the illegality with shock and dissapointment.
The new Edo Assembly was inaugurated on Monday night, about 10pm with nine members electing Frank Okiye as Speaker.
The all APC member Assembly is said to be divided between loyalists of Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of APC and Govrrnor Godwin Obaseki.
A similar scenario took place in Bauchi on Thursday morning where 11 out of 31 lawmakers of the 9th Bauchi state House of Assembly picked a new speaker.
APC has 22 members while PDP has 8 and the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has one lawmaker-elect in the assembly.
The 18 APC members had gone to the House as early as 8 a.m. as against the 10 a.m. official commencement of the sitting only to discover that the 8 PDP members including 2 from APC and NNPP member had outsmarted them by getting there as early as 7 a.m.
The PDP members held plenary during which they elected the two principal officers.
The lawmakers elected Abubakar Suleiman, the lawmaker representing Ningi Central Constituency (APC), as the Speaker on Thursday.
Not satisfied with the development, the other 18 lawmakers-elect held a parallel inauguration.
The members-elect who held plenary outside the Assembly complex under the statue of the symbol of a mace, elected a former Speaker of the Assembly, Kawuwa Damina, as speaker and Tukur Ibrahim as deputy respectively.
The inaugurations in Edo and Bauchi were believed to be masterminded by the respective state governors.
Issa-Onilu, while condemning the inaugurations, vowed that his party would use all democratic means necessary to ensure the right thing is done.
“As a party that has made a commitment to change, we strongly reject any attempt to take a recourse to brigandage of the past, when democratic practices were defined by the inordinate whims of people in power.
“Democracy must be governed by the rule of law. A situation where 11 lawmakers in the 31-member Bauchi State House of Assembly and nine lawmakers in the 24-member Edo State House of Assembly were secretly ‘inaugurated’ and purportedly ‘elect’ principal officers behind closed doors is a joke and an embarrassment.
“It is an unfortunate reminder of PDP’s queer brand of democracy. Practices like this are unacceptable under APC-led administration.”
He reminded the “actors” of the recent and widely-commended election of presiding officers in the newly-inaugurated 9th National Assembly.
“Our party has set new standards in party politics by upstaging the rule of force, while upholding the rule of law.
“It needs restating that every elected lawmaker has a legitimate right to participate unhindered in the inauguration of the legislative arm in which he belongs.
“The plot to arm-twist the majority in favour of the minority in the legislative arm died with the defeat of the PDP in 2015.
“We therefore call on the Governors of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki and Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed to urgently do the needful by issuing a proper letter of proclamation to allow for the lawful inauguration of the respective state House of Assembly and subsequent election of presiding officers in a transparent manner,” the statement read.