FOLLOWING the Edo State House of Assembly’s rejection of sections of the amended 1999 Constitution that granted financial autonomy to local councils, the state’s chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the lawmakers’ action served the interest of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who it alleged was deducting from council allocations.
Addressing a news conference in Benin City yesterday, state chairman of the party, Dan Orbih, also carpeted two of the lawmakers, Kingsley Ehigiamusoe and Emmanuel Okoduwa, who seemed to have reconciled their differences with the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers and their suspensions lifted.
“For us as a political party, I am aware that two elected members of the PDP visited the Government House yesterday,” he said. “I think they went on a private visit, they are not representing PDP. They are Edo citizens and are free to visit any place of interest or anybody, but I don’t want you to regard the visit as an official visit by PDP members.”
He said the APC House of Assembly has been a stooge of the governor, and that was why they voted against autonomy for councils and urged the people of the state to vote for his party’s members who are towing the party’s position on autonomy for councils.
“There is need for Edo people to vote for candidates that will best represent the interest of their people and, looking at the candidates we are putting forward, you will agree with me that these are people who will represent their people very well if elected,” he said.
“APC members voted against council autonomy, we have had discussions with the candidates we are fielding for the next election into the assembly, they are on the same page with the party’s official position. Edo State PDP is totally in support of council autonomy.
“In Edo State, there is an urgent need to bring about the law that will bring council autonomy to stay in the politics of this nation. What gets to the councils can hardly pay the salary of their staff, that is why we feel very strongly that there is need for these councils to have their independence so that they use their allocations to develop the grassroots.”