16th September, 2010
The political crisis in Ogun State took another dimension on Tuesday this week, when theÂ G-15 lawmakers held their sitting in a school in Ijebu East Local Government Area. DuringÂ the sitting, the G-15 lawmakers led by the Speaker, Tunji Egbetokun, nullified all theÂ decisions taken by the G-9 lawmakers, led by Emmanuel Soyemi Coker on 6 September duringÂ their kangaroo sitting after they broke into the chambers of the House and used a localÂ government mace to conduct their business.
Also during Tuesdayâ€™s sitting, the G-15 lawmakers declared the seats of two lawmakers, TitiÂ Oseni, the suspended former speaker and Omosanya Solaja vacant. They also accused GovernorÂ Daniel of â€œaiding and abetting illegality in the state for non-compliance with state lawsÂ and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.â€ They proceeded to pass a vote ofÂ no confidence on the governor. The G-9 lawmakers also countered the resolution of the G-15Â members, describing it as an illegality.
Athough the presidency has tried to call the warring parties to order, with the governor andÂ a stalwart of Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party in the State and Minister of Commerce and Industry,Â Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye, holding a closed door peace meeting for over five hours, theÂ crisis appears to be getting out of hand.
Many are wondering why President Goodluck Jonathan cannot order policemen to provideÂ security for the G-15 members to sit in the chambers of the House. Is it until the crisisÂ snowballs into a conflagration before sanity will be restored in that state? Why negotiateÂ on an issue that is clearly constitutional? Has the Nigerian Constititution become aÂ document that should be obeyed when certain people feel like doind so? The dithering by theÂ President and the PDP leadership suggests that they consider the constitution a fluidÂ document.
Every negotiation and peace meeting should have come after ensuring that the Constitution isÂ adhered to. What we are likely to see is bloodshed.
Ogun State which used to be one of the most peaceful states in the country has not knownÂ peace since 2008, when Titi Oseni, a Daniel loyalist, was removed as speaker. Since then theÂ state has become a national laughing stock as it has been gravitating from one crisis toÂ another. In the process, good governance has been paralysed in the state. It is unfortunateÂ that a state that has produced the likes of Obafemi Awolowo, Bisi Onabanjo, Wole Soyinka,Â Olusegun Obasanjo, Simeon Adebo, the Ransome-Kutis, etc. has become the battle ground forÂ politicians to test their might.
We expect eminent sons and daughters of the state to rise with one voice and say enough isÂ enough to the barbaric conduct of shameless politicians masquerading as leaders.
A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.