Obaseki victimizing us for not defecting to PDP, Edo APC councillors cry out

About ninety suspended councillors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state have cried out to the party’s national leadership to intervene in their case in Edo state

The councillors, who made the plea in a petition they submitted to the APC national office yesterday in Abuja, regretted that the Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, has been victimizing them for their refusal to defect with him to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Speaking to newsmen after submitting their petition to the Secretary of the APC national caretaker committee, John Akpan Udeudehe, spokesperson of the councillors, Pastor Mrs Okpanem Angela, representing Ward 6,Ovia South West local government area of the state explained that in some local government areas, minority PDP councillors suspended their majority APC colleagues, adding that some of them were suspended on a public holiday, when the council chambers were closed

She regretted that ninety of the suspended councillors have been denied their rights to represent their people, adding that their salaries have also been stopped for over eight months from the date of their suspension

“It would be recalled that in the build up to the Edo governorship elections, the Governor defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), having been disqualified by the APC. Afterwards the governor directed that all political appointees and elected office holders should resign from the APC and join him to the PDP.

“Quite honestly, the decision of the Governor to defect to the PDP fails within his right as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. While we respect this right of his, we are however left in shock as the Governor has refused to reciprocate same to the decision of some of us who are elected councillors to remain in the APC

“Our only offence is that we refused to decamp with the Governor to the PDP, even though in our assessment of his performance, we found no moral justification on which we should abandon the party that provided us the platform to get elected”

The councillors who maintained that the Governor has no constitutional rights to order their suspension, noted that under the local government law, no law empowers a legislative council to suspend elected members of the House who have statutory tenure in office

“To suspend elected councillors indefinitely without pay is to preclude them from carrying out their legitimate legislative duties, and the resultant effect is that our respective wards are denied representation and participation, which is a major set back for community development.” The councillors regretted, while calling on their party, President Buhari and the National Assembly to intervene in their case and save democracy in Edo state

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