The state credited with the slogan of “Heartbeat of the Nation” is in the news with ‘heart-breaking’ episodic tales of leadership tussle and hostile takeovers of both democratic and thuggery dimensions. The state’s House of Assembly threw decorum to the wind when a legislative process of removing his leadership descended to chaos and climaxed with the involvement of thugs to unseat the new speaker.
The House took the decision to impeach the speaker on grounds of high-handedness, dictatorial tendencies and financial recklessness. Different arguments have been provided in support and against the motive for the impeachment of the leadership of the state’s assembly as well as reasons for disruption of legislative proceedings by rented thugs such that it becomes important to look at the flashpoints of the crisis. For clarity and posterity sake, these are the five take-aways of the crisis.
Delay tactics: The impeachment of the Speaker and his deputy was reported to have been long overdue and extended to now due to the delay tactics used by the speaker to suppress his impeachment. The speaker and his deputy had survived three impeachment attempts to remove them; just last month he escaped being removed when he had to adjourn plenary for two days to enable them resolve whatever grievances they had internally.
Quorum Verdict: An elementary knowledge of quorum means the smallest number of people who must be present at a meeting in order for decisions to be made. The speaker and his deputy were reportedly impeached by 16 of the 24 members of the assembly on Tuesday. Only for Edoror, the impeached speaker to claim that 11 members of the house cannot impeach them and a ‘wonderful’ justification for him to unleash his goons.
Emergence of First Female Speaker in the state: The impeachment of Mr. Victor Edoror and his deputy, Mr. Bright Osayande led to the emergence of the first female speaker in the state, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie. Ativie enjoys popular support and described as a woman of steel to salvage the image and pride of Edo state’s House of Assembly.
Thugs Invasion: The state assembly slipped into chaos immediately after the impeachment of Edoror as suspected thugs invaded the chamber as Ms. Ativie took her seat. It is appalling to see violence unleashed where reasoning should hold sway, the conduct of the impeached speaker and his cohorts are despicable and an affront on the legislative reputation of Nigeria.
Impeachment and Suspension of Speaker: The good news emanating from the state is that the new speaker in a swift manner to demonstrate she is in charge announced the immediate suspension of the impeached Speaker, Mr. Edoror for three months for invading the chambers with thugs and desecrating the hallowed chamber with his conduct.
Written by Dosunmu Moshood
Twitter handle: @msdoes