The Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Hon. Paul Ohonbamu, has described the issues raised by the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the planned local government election in the state as irrelevant and unconvincing and declared the PDP as “too depleted and afraid of facing the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election scheduled for March 3.”
On the claim by the Edo State Chairman of PDP, Dan Orbih, that the Edo State House of Assembly cannot validly amend the Edo State Local Government Electoral Law to abridge the length of notice of poll, Ohonbamu who served as Deputy Speaker in the Edo State House of Assembly, said the PDP’s quarrel with the law making function of the Edo State House of Assembly as enshrined in the constitution, is a ploy to derail the process as the opposition knows that it is too weak to participate in the local council poll.
“The PDP lacks a proper understanding of the law. The Assembly has the rights to make laws for the running and wellbeing of Local Governments including local government elections. The House of Assembly has performed its constitutional duties by amending the Electoral Act,” the commissioner and two-time member of the Edo House of Assembly said.
Publicity Secretary of the Edo State APC, Chris Azebamwan, declared as false, the claims by the PDP chairman that the APC is discriminating against some of its candidates while it has anointed some candidates for the council poll.
He noted that all members of the APC will participate in the process according to the set guidelines which will not exclude anybody from the process.
On PDP’s claim that the amendment to the local government Electoral Law made by the Edo State House of Assembly on 12th December 2017 was done in violation of the mandatory provisions of the Rules of the Edo State House of Assembly on law making process, Ohonbamu said “Similar amendment was done under the administration of Prof. Oserhiemen Osunbo in 2007. The amendments disenfranchised certain people who were caretaker committee chairmen from contesting in the election and nothing was said about it then.”
Ohonbamu stressed: “The function of the Edo State House of Assembly is to make laws according to the rules of the house in the interest of all Edo people and this they have done. The PDP should approach the court of law for proper legal interpretations if they are confused and not engage in acts of rascality. The PDP should not create tension where there is none. The house has the duty to amend laws.”
He said it is not the duty of political parties to decide on legal issues. “They know they are finished and have attained the age of menopause and are merely brandishing expired talisman” Ohonbamu said and advised the PDP to go to court and “test the waters for proper interpretation of the law.”
He said the PDP’s contention with the number of days of notice to Claimant and other stakeholders before the election, “are all polemics,” and maintained that “If PDP says it has to be 90 days, they should go to court, their objection is nothing but an escapist route. The PDP can claim the sky and moon, but it is the duty of the Judiciary to interpret the law. They are finished and down. When they were in power, they caused serious plundering of the economy. Today they are looking for how to come back to power to continue their plundering.
“The Edo State House of Assembly will continue to make laws for the common good of all. The PDP cannot draw us back. Edo people are not ready for their faulty interjections. I enjoin them to go to court to test the veracity of their claim.”
The Edo APC challenged the PDP to prove its claim that some members of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission are card carrying members of the APC.