Am Qualified To Run For President, PDP Cannot Intimidate Me – Gov Oshiomhole

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Despite the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly,
the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Tuesday, July 8,
2014, said that his state was not on fire, but for the lawmaker
of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who are celebrating
lawlessness.

He equally stated that he has the right as a Nigerian to contest
for the presidency if he so desired, adding that all efforts by
PDP in the state to intimidate him would continue to fail.

Oshiomhole, who was reacting to a statement by the National
Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, who had accused
him of pursuing a vice-presidential ambition in 2015 and thus
was setting his state ablaze, said the statement by Metuh was
unreasonable.

Oshiomhole while speaking to State House correspondents in
Abuja, said the PDP could not intimidate him no matter how
hard it tried, adding that it was impossible to set the state he
presides over on fire.

On the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly,
Oshiomhole said: “You have some people who believe that
because they are members of the PDP that they are above the
law and they want to celebrate the culture of impunity.
“But I am a product of a struggle all my life, I’m used to
people who think that they are much more than what they are.

And my own life history tells me that only the man on the
side of truth is on the side of God and only that could survive.

“The issue in Edo is straight forward: Four members of the
PDP on their own went to court asking the Federal High Court
to ask the speaker not to declare their seats vacant. Number
two, they asked the court to restrain the speaker and the
House of Assembly from carrying out any disciplinary action
against them. The court granted these two prayers.

“Now the issue is, I can understand why they were asking that
their seats should not be declared vacant because they had
changed camps in accordance with the penalty as provided
by Section 109 of the constitution.
“But they also went on to ask the court to restrain the speaker
from suspending them based on internal disciplinary issues.

“The court granted both prayers, but when the motion was
argued by both sides, the court ordered that the speaker
should still not declare their seats vacant, pending the
determination of the substantive suit.

“However the court vacated the order restraining the House
and the speaker from suspending them for any alleged
misconduct on the grounds that the court cannot prevent an
arm of government from carrying out internal disciplinary
measures.

“Now having vacated one leg, the House met subsequently
and based on their rules, suspended these four members. You
know as media men and women that across the 36 state
Houses of Assembly and even the National Assembly at one
time or the other, members have been suspended for one
offence or the other.

“And in a democracy, if any action is taken against you and
you are not satisfied, there is only one civilised way to go,
that is to go to court. However these members refused to
abide by the suspension order in clear violation of the rules
of the House of Assembly.

“The House of Assembly, determined to be on the right side
of the law, decided that rather than physically resolve the
matter decided to approach the High Court to ask it to grant
an interim injunction restraining the four suspended
members from coming into the House of Assembly.”

He stressed that because the police was aiding and abetting
the suspended members, the House asked the court to restrain
the police from aiding and abetting them from violating the
suspension order.

The governor added that the High Court granted the order,
restraining them from going to House of Assembly, and
restraining the police from aiding and abetting them.

“I am sure you have seen on the news that they boastfully
said they will not obey the court order. In fact, they described
the court order as useless. And when the bailiff went to serve
them the contempt paper, they harassed and abused the hell
out of the bailiff, which means these guys because they are
members of the PDP believe they are above the law, they are
above the court and that court orders are not meant to be
obeyed.

“Ironically, the only reason Edo tax payers’ money is spent to
maintain these honourable members of the House is to make
laws for the good governance of the state and yet you who
live on law making, you are the first to dismiss the order of a
High Court even when you were the first to approach the
High Court for protection.

“And as we speak, you are enjoying that protection but the
other leg of the court decision that is against you, you choose
to disobey it.”

He bemoaned the excessive use of power by the police, which
he said was compromising the commercial and economic life
of Edo State.

“So if four people refuse to obey a court order that does not
mean the state is on fire. You just have few people who are
celebrating lawlessness and the police force is helping them
to celebrate the lawlessness,” he stressed.

On his position, he said: “Simple! Without the state
instrument on the streets of this city of Abuja we confronted
the powers that be. We confronted people who occupied this
villa from 1999 to 2007, I did it along with my colleagues;
across the 36 states we did. So I am not a coward that can be
intimidated.

“One thing is that the general election is coming 2015 and we
have defeated PDP consistently since 2009 when I assumed
office. Every bye-election they lost.

“The last National Assembly election we defeated them in the
whole of Edo South, which is about 51 per cent of the
population; we defeated them in Edo North which is about 33
per cent of the population; we defeated them in Edo Central
which accounts for about 17 per cent of the population.

“In my own election, despite all that they boasted that they
were going to do, I defeated them in all the 18 local
government areas including the local government of the PDP
godfather.

“And so what they are trying to do now is that having lost the
elections, having been rejected by the Edo people and
knowing that another election is coming, they want to
destablise the state, intimidate my person.

“And as you read one Methuselah or Olisa Metuh or by
whatever name he is called, he was reported as saying that I
am destabilising Edo State because I want to contest for the
vice-presidency.

“Now that is standing logic upside down. If I wanted to
contest for the vice-presidency, do I need to destabilise the
government that I currently head?

“So they have let out the cat, meaning that they are afraid for
their own rumoured ambition that I want to contest for the
vice-presidency. So the point I want to make is that if I decide
even to contest for the presidency, PDP cannot intimidate me,
I have a right to do so if it is my conviction.

“It is unfortunate that some people want to put their
individual interest above national interest and I cannot be
intimidated. I’m firmly on ground and there is nothing to
worry about.”

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