Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, of Friday condemned police invasion of the Edo State House of Assembly on Friday, warning of possible constitutional chaos in the days ahead.
Speaking under the auspices of the PDP Governors Forum, the governors warned of serious consequences even as it added that any attempt to manipulate the September 19 governorship election in the state would be legitimately resisted.
In a statement signed by its Director-General, Cyril Maduabum, the forum also condemned what it called the illegal swearing-in of some members of the State House of Assembly on Thursday in Benin City, the Edo state capital.
“We condemn unequivocally the Police invasion of the Edo State House of Assembly in the early hours of August 6, 2020. The House of Assembly was surrounded and cordoned off by the police without the invitation or request of the legitimate authorities of the State or the House.
“This apparently was to give cover to the unlawful and illegal attempt to seize the House of Assembly in aid of unconstitutional acts being hatched by some former members-elect of the Edo House of Assembly.
“The Forum further condemns as illegal, unconstitutional, and an act of impunity, the purported swearing-in of some former members-elect and purported election of new Presiding officers in a private residence in Benin without the legitimate officials of the House of Assembly as required by law.
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“It is the height of political brigandage and desperation. Why are the perpetrators of this illegal and unlawful activity afraid of facing the electorate in a free and fair election? Why are they afraid of the giant strides and impressive performance of Governor Godwin Obaseki?
“We warn that any attempt to effect an unconstitutional takeover of either legislative or executive power in Edo State will lead to unpleasant consequences far beyond the shores of Edo State.
“We appeal to Mr President to caution the security agencies to remain neutral and even handed in Edo state and not lend its authority to unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional acts of a desperate gang of power mongers. We consequently request an emergency meeting of the Nigeria Police Council to deal with the increasing unconstitutional use of the police authorities for partisan politics.
“We call on the people of Edo State to remain vigilant but peaceful in resisting any attempt to desecrate democracy and constitutionalism in Edo State by the APC and their supporters.
“We request the security agencies to re-strategise and concentrate on the emergent threats to national security currently being experienced in many parts of the country in increased rural and urban banditry, Boko Haram insurgency and kidnapping of innocent Nigerians. Nigerians deserve the full concentration of Mr President and the Armed Forces and police in order to quell this monster.”