In a statement personally signed and issued by him on Friday, Tinubu described Obaseki as an errant, ill disciplined governor and a dictator, who has been contemptuous of the people of Edo state.
He alleged that the governor adopted the strong arm tactics of dictators, by first of all, blocking the inauguration of two-thirds of the assembly and then importing thugs, to deface and destroy parts of the assembly.
Tinubu said that Obaseki denied elected members of the house of assembly from being inaugurated for over a year, adding that the governor has committed an impeachable offence, but the lawmakers have not indicated interest in removing him from office.
The APC leader then offered some quick tutorial to Governor Obaseki on the meaning of representative government and the importance of the legislature.
“The recent actions of the Governor of Edo State represent the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern,” he said.
“Not satisfied with making a mockery of our constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, Governor Obaseki has now resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.
“First, he sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin, feigning the building is undergoing renovation. Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex. In effect, the man has spent state funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold. He has squandered public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.
“As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo. No renovation has been planned for the state house building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.
“Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order. By his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties, Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.”
The APC national leader said the governor has placed himself above the legislature, “deciding who gets in and who is shut out”.
Tinubu said it is clear that Obaseki is punishing the lawmakers for their loyalty to the APC, adding that: “If every governor behaves as he, obstructing the performance of any legislator who does not pledge to him their undying fealty, the entire edifice of democratic governance in Nigeria would grind to a complete halt.”
The crisis rocking the Edo state house of assembly took a new twist on Thursday after 17 members of the House impeached the Speaker of the Assembly, Frank Okiye and his deputy, Roland Asoro, during an emergency session held at the assembly complex in Benin.
The 14 lawmakers who were left out during the inauguration of the assembly in May last year, were sworn in during the exercise.
The newly-sworn in lawmakers, including three others who had earlier sworn allegiance to the APC candidate in the state, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, declared that the speaker and his deputy were impeached.
The lawmakers subsequently elected a member of the House representing Esan Central constituency, Victor Edoror, as speaker and Emmanuel Agbaje, Akoko-Edo constituency II as deputy speaker.
Edo Assembly complex was shut down on Thursday by the state governor, Godwin Obaseki after suspected thugs took down the roof of the building, before pulling down the iconic mace figure inside the House.