Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, has condemned the recent actions of Governor Godwin Obaseki against the Edo State House of Assembly, describing the actions as unlawful, subversive and a damning threat to the nation’s democracy.
Bamidele said that the continued alleged onslaughts on members of the state House of Assembly by Obaseki should be condemned and resisted by all lovers of democracy because the legislature is an integral and critical component of democracy anywhere around the world.
He further maintained in a statement issued yesterday that “the deliberate and inordinate sabotage of the legitimate activities of the lawmakers in the state legislature is a direct invitation to anarchy and this must be promptly halted before the situation is allowed to get out of hands.”
Bamidele, a New York Attorney and member of the Nigerian Body of Benchers, who is also a seasoned and well experienced public administrator and two-term federal lawmaker, pointed out that the legislature, because of its representative power in a democracy, is the mirror of the will of the the people.
According to him, ”the legislature is the chief means of expressing popular will, a body that can speak on behalf of, and for, the people. It is, therefore, the assembly of the people’s minds and the general will of the populace within a polity”.
The Ekiti Central senator emphasized that “the desperation of Governor Obaseki to secure a second term in office should not be allowed to desecrate, destroy and totally subvert the legislative institution in Edo State.”
He explained that “democratic sustainability demands that political players should moderate and caution their political behaviours in order to safeguard the sanctity of democracy and institutions of democratic governance”, adding that “throwing caution to the wind by gladiators may likely jettison survival of democracy and the genuine desires and aspirations of the people.”
Bamidele implored the civil society community and other stakeholders of the political process in the country to prevail on Obaseki to allow members of the House of Assembly resume their constitutional duties without further delay, saying that the continued brazen efforts aimed at debarring the lawmakers from performing their legislative functions as required by law is not only a contempt against the wishes of the Edo people, but also a gross violation of the 1999 Constitution as well as a punitive expedition against democratic governance in Nigeria.
He, therefore, urged Governor Obaseki to rescind his actions in the interest of peace and tranquility in the state and desist from taking actions that may likely cause irreparable damage to the democratic institutions, thereby encouraging the total breakdown of law and order in the state.
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