While the dust seems to be settling over the crisis that erupted recently between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, another chaos is simmering in Edo State.
This time, the Edo State House of Assembly has accused Governor Obaseki of misappropriating funds approved for the purchase of vehicles for assembly members, renovation of their official quarters, and illegal deductions from local government accounts, among others. The situation is getting to a boiling point, as the assembly members have not been provided with official vehicles four months after their inauguration.

A member of the State Assembly who pleaded anonymity for now disclosed to this medium that since their inauguration in June 2023, the assembly members have been forced to lodge in hotels, except for those who already had personal accommodation in Benin City before their swearing-in. This arrangement has left the assembly members dissatisfied, as they are required to use their meager accommodation allowances to cover the costs.
The Assembly member claimed that some of his colleagues took loans from the banks to pay for their accommodation. “As of date, half of the assembly members are indebted.

Responding to these grievances, twenty-two (22) members of the House of Assembly, representing both ruling and opposition parties, this medium has learned to have united to protest the governor’s handling of the situation. They have resolved to withhold their attention from any Bill sent to the House by Governor Obaseki until they are provided with official vehicles and suitable accommodation.

To underscore the seriousness of their stance, the twenty-two (22) protesting Assembly Members have signed a formal notice, which has been presented to the Speaker of the House for delivery to Governor Obaseki.

Speaking further, the Honourable member said “As the Assembly Members await the governor’s response to their demands, it is crucial to emphasize the necessity for Governor Obaseki to respect the independence of the Legislature. He must ensure that assembly members are not treated as mere errand boys but as vital stakeholders in the governance of the state. It is imperative that he honors the approvals granted by the assembly and refrains from misappropriating State resources for personal gain.

“This chaotic situation in the Edo State House of Assembly highlights the importance of transparency, accountability, and the separation of powers in a functioning democracy. It serves as a reminder that elected officials must fulfill their responsibilities and obligations to the people they represent. The governor’s alleged misappropriation of funds designated for the assembly members’ vehicles and renovation of their official quarters is a breach of trust, which must not be taken lightly.”

Also, the Member alleged that in a brazen show of fiscal rascality, Governor Obaseki in addition to illegal deductions from Local Government Accounts, deducted 45 million naira each from the 18 Local Government Areas for October. “It is also important to bring to the attention of Edolites that the local government chairmen are being burdened with levies by way of contributions to sponsor the ongoing Betsy Obaseki Women’s Football Tournament (BOWFT). This has crippled the effective functioning of this crucial arm of government which is saddled with the responsibility of bringing governance closer to the people, especially in our rural areas.”

“Governor Godwin Obaseki must urgently address these issues and work towards a resolution that respects the rights and needs of the state House of Assembly members as well as allows our local governments to work with their allocated funds. Only then can stability and productivity be restored to the Edo State,” the parliamentarian asserted.


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