GODWIN Obaseki, Governor of Edo State says the invasion of the state House of Assembly complex on Thursday was an attempted coup which did not succeed.
Obaseki who stated this while speaking at a live broadcast on Friday concerning the state House of Assembly crisis, said the events portend grave danger to the safety and security of the polity.
“These events portend grave danger to the safety and security of our polity. It had all the hallmarks of an attempted coup d’état. The people of Edo State rose as one to prevent the desecration of our democracy,” the governor said.
“It is however worrisome that certain persons are willing to plunge the society into avoidable anarchy and conflict just to satisfy their illegitimate objectives, these acts are tantamount to treason, contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.”
He added that the crisis was fuelled by a former governor of the state who according to him, is ‘bent on throwing the state into crisis’.
“This unfortunate situation has festered because a former governor of the state is bent on throwing the state into crisis ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections,” Obaseki stated.
He noted that the state legislative power tussle, worsened when the leadership of the assembly declared the seats of 12 members vacant and demanded a fresh election by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) because they failed to sit for over 180 days.
“Following this action by the leadership of the House, the 14 members-elect approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, to challenge the constitutionality or otherwise of the declaration of their seats vacant. This suit is still pending in the court,” Obaseki explained.
The governor commended the residents of the state for standing up against the ‘evil plans’ of the perpetrators of the crisis.
“I want to salute the resolve of all well-meaning Edo people in standing up to thwart the evil plans of these undemocratic elements who are bent on perpetrating an illegal assault on our democracy by the purported inauguration in a private residence.
Be assured, dear people of Edo State, that this government will take all steps necessary to defend the rule of law and democratic ideals. Any person or group of persons who set out to test our will in this regard will meet with the full wrath of the law,” he added.
The ICIR had reported how hoodlums on Thursday, stormed and vandalised the Edo State House of Assembly Complex, removing the roof, and taking down the symbolic legislative mace statue on top of the building.
Security officials had besieged the complex earlier in the day to forestall the occurrence, however, the hoodlums who could not gain entrance into the building resorted into vandalising the structure of the Assembly complex.
Edo State Government has been at disunity following the escalated crisis between the Obaseki and the immediate past governor of the state, Adams Oshiomole which led Obaseki’s failure to secure the ticket to run as a second-term governor on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) where Oshiomole is a former National Chairman.