PRESS RELEASE BY COMMITTEE OF BENIN ELDERS

The members of Committee of Benin Elders note with dismay the political crisis arising from the Edo State House of Assembly involving some political leaders and the Executive Governor. We also note that some of the major actors of the crisis are Benin people from the same Edo South Senatorial District as the Governor, which makes it quite embarrassing to us and creates an undesirable reflection on their cause.

We need to put it on record that the Governor Mr. G. Obaseki has been performing creditably in terms of infrastructural development, educational advancement economic innovativeness and the maintenance of peace across the State since assumption of office.

We, therefore, advise these Benin sons and daughters, to desist from any action which in the long run could be detrimental to the success of good governance and the interest of the state.

We feel that the ongoing political crisis is an unfortunate distraction which should be resolved amicably such that it does not disturb the peace and development of the State. Therefore any intervention from outside the State should be aimed at peaceful resolution rather than escalation of the crisis. That demands that the political gladiators should remove personal interest and only propagate what their constituents genuinely desire which is for peace and development to reign.

We are aware that the Governor has issued a proclamation and forwarded the same to the Clerk of the House. Under the relevant provision of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), such proclamation once made remains effective. This should be distinguished from the inauguration of members of the House which in our view is the responsibility of the Clerk of the House. Any dispute arising from inauguration can be resolved by resort to the Judiciary in line with proper democratic practice, which process we are informed is already ongoing.

In the circumstance, this Committee feels that the intervention by the House of Representatives at this stage is premature and unwarranted. This is more so when it is clear from the express wording of Sec 105 of the Constitution that any intervention in the affairs of any State House of Assembly should be by the joint action of the two Houses of the National Assembly.

We are aware that the present Governor and his immediate predecessor in a reciprocal manner helped each other into the office at different times with a mandate to develop Edo State. The predecessor played his part well and his successor is in the meantime doing the same. We, therefore, opine that the Governor should be given a peaceful atmosphere to develop the State as he has not deviated from that sacred mandate.

We, therefore, call on all concerned to exercise the needed restraint and allow peace to reign in the interest of all.

1. Chief (Prof.) E.U. Emovon CON, FAS,

2. Hon. Justice S.O Uwaifo CON, KSC

3. Princess (Prof.) Mrs. A. Emovon

4. Hon. Justice I.O Aluyi, KSA

5. Hon. Justice J.O. Olubor OFR

6. Prof. D.E. Agbonlahor FAS

7. Emeritus Prof. R.O. Elaho FUFTAN

8. Emeritus Prof. A.A.E Orhue FRCOG

9. Prof. U. Edebiri BL, FUFTAN, OFR

10. Brig-Gen (Dr) D.O.I Ikpomnwen(Rtd), Esq. fwc, MCH, mni

11. Maj-Gen S.E. Asemota (Rtd), Msc, Gss, fwc

12. Maj-Gen C.O. Omoregie (Rtd), M.Sc, Gss, Fwc, NDC+

(For themselves and on behalf of the Committee of Benin Elders)

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