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OPINION By Omonkhua Fredrick | Okiye’s Impeachment: A House Affair

 

The recent impeachment of the former Speaker of the Edo state House of Assembly Rt.Hon. Frank Okiye by nine out of ten members of the State House of Assembly is currently generating political tension and reactions among the people, especially in Esanland where the former speaker hails from.

Recall that Hon Okiye was elected Speaker of the House of Assembly by Nine members who were inaugurated by the Clark of the House Alhaji. Audu Omogbai in a controversial style after receiving the Proclamation letter from Governor Godwin Obaseki.

However, after one year and four months as Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Okiye was impeached by the same nine members who elected him as Speaker in June 2019.

Hon Okiye impeachment came as rude shock to many political analysts and leaders of the party in state and for few who have been observant about the affairs of the house saw his impeachment coming following the conclusion of the Governorship elections three weeks ago where the state Governor Mr Godwin Obaseki was re-elected for another term.

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His impeachment according to members of the state House of Assembly was based on abuse of power vested in his office as Speaker and side-lining other members of the state House of Assembly in the scheme of things as regards to contacts, relationship with the executive and self ambitious nature.

Many believed that Okiye would have been impeached even before the Governorship election in September but members of the State of House of Assembly were asked to shield their swords to avoid a political tsunami in state and concentrate on getting the Governor re-elected for second term.

After the impeachment of the state Speaker, there were various political allegation over who was responsible for his impeachment which has led to disagreements in various quarters over the Esan agenda 2024 and the Power tussle in Esan North East Local government.

Many associates of the fomer Speaker are attributing his removal from office as Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly to Hon Joe Okojie, the Current Special Adviser to Governor Obaseki on Agriculture, Food Security and Forestry as behind his impeachment while outside the local government, many PDP leaders from Esanland felt he was removed as Speaker to pave way for an indigene of Uromi which is regarded as the Political headquarters of Esanland for Governor come 2024.

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It should be on record that Hon Okojie, being an ally of the Governor and also as an aid cannot muster resources or political power to control and convince all inaugurated members of the House of Assembly to impeach the speaker. In a House of ten members, there should be a very strong ally of the former speaker to inform him the mood of other members of the House of Assembly, in order to satisfy these members but that was missing to show that members of the state House of Assembly are totally against his leadership role.

The 2024 Esan agenda is an aspiration for all Esan people with believe that power should return to Esanland after the second term of Governor Obaseki. Okiye’s impeachment clearly has nothing to do with the agenda of the Esan People. There are indications that some leaders of zone are clamouring that Uromi from the Agbazilo region of the Esanland should be allowed to produce the next Governor under the Esan agenda because the Okpebholo region has produced two Governors in the past which include Late Professor Ambrose Ali and Senator Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor both from Esan South West local government same local government with the current Speaker.

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In conclusion, the election of a Speaker is at the prerogative of the members of the state house of Assembly which is also a privilege position, hence the fact needs to be stated that impeachment or resignation of Hon Okiye as Speaker is an internal affairs of the Members of the state house of Assembly and has nothing to do with the 2024 Governorship election, Hon Joe Okojie, ambition of any political leader from the zone or the Executive.

Hon Okiye should be allowed to concentrate on his core assignment as member of the state House of Assembly after his resignation was accepted by his colleagues.

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