Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has alleged that some members of the state House of Assembly who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got N50 million each to sell out.
Oshiomhole, who disclosed this yesterday when he addressed different groups of youths on apeaceful protest to the Government House, however said government was undisturbed with what he described as the shenanigans of the defected lawmakers.
He said: “I thank you for recognising that we all went round to campaign for these people who have decided to sell their mandate for naira and kobo. What is sickening is that they are young men who should be anxious to break from the past.
“However, because they believed they do not have any chance of being re-elected in February next year, because they have either done two terms or because of their poor performance, they know their constituency will not re-nominate them, they now decided to benefit from the desperation in different parts of the country to sell their mandate for N50 million each, collect advance payment of N35 million. When I read this in the newspapers, initially, I didn’t believe it. But going round, people tell me they are buying new vehicles, others are rebuilding their hotels. Suddenly money is flowing.
“Obviously, I think it is important that if democracy is going to survive, each promise must be kept because in the last election, I had to go and do a television advert when the PDP people said this election is not Oshiomhole’s election, therefore vote for individual candidates, I went on television to say that a vote for these House of Assembly members is a vote for Adams Oshiomhole.
“I had to do that because Edo people were not going to accept some of these people and I had to remind them that if they do not vote for them they would create problems for me. Now the vultures have come and they are offering money and people are collecting money and making all kind of excuses.”
The governor declared: “As far as I am concerned, there is no cause for alarm. A lot of these people cannot win election on their own merit in their own booth. They were voted for as ACN with the broom. If you were vote for as ACN, with the broom, how can you now go and replace it with an umbrella that is torn and abandoned.
“People with little mind will think that they can sell their constituents with thirty-five million or fifty million depending on when they will get their balance and with time more truth will be revealed and when it is revealed a lot of these people will not be able to walk through the streets of Oredo and Ikpoba Okha.
“Those who voted some of them do not have a N1,000 but those they have voted for have chosen to sell it for a huge sum. As far as I am concerned, we are stronger. Edo politics will be cleaned up and the cleaning is already here,” he said.
Oshiomhole said government was committed to doing those things that would bring joy to the people, adding “we are committed to building more schools and roads.”
Earlier, the spokesman of the group, Mr. Emma Yamah, said they were in Government House to assure the governor of their support and decried the four legislators who rode on the governors back to get elected but only to now defect to the opposition party.
He said the youths were going to demand their mandates from the lawmakers who defected, saying the mandate did not belong to the defected lawmakers, but to the people.
Meanwhile, the Edo State House of Assembly yesterday suspended its Deputy Speaker, Mr. Festus Ebea and four other members which included Friday Ogieriakhi representing Orhionmwon South; Jude Ise-Idehen, Ikpoba-Okha; and Patrick Osayimwen, Oredo East.
The five state legislators were suspended for alleged misconduct.
A total of 11 members were present at the sitting where the lawmakers were suspended under section 38 rules three of the House rules.
Moving the motion for their suspension, Paul Ohonbamu from Egoh state constituency, said actions of the affected lawmakers constituted misconduct.
The motion was seconded by Majority Leader, Philip Shaibu and member representing Etsako West II.
Addressing journalists after the sitting, Chairman, Committee on Youth Sports and Information, Kabiru Adjoto, Akoko-Edo II clarified that their action was not because the lawmakers defected to the PDP, alleging that their suspension was because the affected lawmakers had approached other lawmakers offering huge sums to defect to the PDP.
He accused the deputy speaker of forming a parallel leadership in the House with the aim to impeach the Speaker and Governor Oshiomhole
According to him, “The Deputy Speaker has become so arrogant and dictatorial that he no longer sees the party and Mr. Speaker as one. He has created parallel leadership and that leadership is aimed at destabilizing the House of Assembly and removal of Mr. Speaker and the Comrade Governor.
“These suspended members have constituted themselves into marketers that have been given target to meet. They have approach us to sell our mandate to the PDP. They have mentioned heavy amount ranging from N50million to N70million.
“They have approached us on a daily basis. What they do is to dangle carrot before us and that is not what we were elected to do here. Their activities constitute misconduct. We decided to suspend them until they deemed it fit to do what is right. It is the tradition and rule that if any member takes the House to court, that member is to be suspended until the matter is resolved by the court.”
Before the suspension, thousands of youths had yesterday besieged the assembly calling for the sacking of the defected lawmakers.
The youth led by one Tony Adun, said they could not watch the lawmakers traded off the mandate and votes they protected under the sun.
He said: “The people we trusted with our votes have sold our mandate. We want to know who they are now representing. We suffered under the sun to protect their votes. It is better they resigned and vacate their offices.”
When contacted, the suspended deputy speaker, Festus Ebea, said he and other would react later.