By Lucky Isibor,
Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, has urged the 12 members-elect, who have refused to present themselves for inauguration into the 7th Assembly, to return to their home state and complete their documentation process, so they can effectively serve their constituency.
Okiye spoke to journalists after the 50th birthday anniversary thanksgiving of the Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu at St. Paul Catholic Church, Benin City.
The lawmakers, who refused to be inaugurated alongside other members about six months ago, have remained in Abuja since the swearing-in of the current Assembly over leadership tussle.
The speaker said the division in the Assembly was externally prompted, noting that all 24 members were friends before the inauguration.
“The reason we vied for the election was to serve the state and they have lost six months without their constituencies being represented. I am appealing to them to come and complete their documentation and turn up for inauguration.”
Okiye, who preached peace despite the squabbles in the state’s political terrain, commended the clergy, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze who advocated for peace in the state chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
“Nobody is barring them from coming for inauguration, the issue of who leads the Edo House of Assembly is secondary. It is not compulsory that everybody must participate; it is a collective leadership.”
The speaker, however, noted that he was confident that the lawmakers-elect were not happy with their decisions of neglecting their constituents, adding, “I believe they want to come for inauguration but the problem is those that are blowing whistles and beating the drums for other reasons.”
Okiye said he will continue to use available opportunities to urge the members-elect to come up for inauguration.
“We believe that these issues will be resolved because we are a family,” he assured.