Speaker Tunji Egbetokun: Why Obasanjo has not intervened in Ogun State's Political crisis

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

By Ademola Oni, Abeokuta,

The Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr. Tunji Egbetokun, has said former President Olusegun Obasanjo has not intervened in the misunderstanding between the executive and legislative arms of government in the state because the feuding parties have not reported the face-off to him.

Reacting to insinuations that Obasanjo might be a party to the crisis owing to his uneasy silence, Egbetokun, who spoke in an interview with journalists in Abeokuta on Monday, said both the executive and the legislative arms had offended the former President.

A group of 15 legislators in the 26-member House had engaged the state Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, in a face-off since the former Speaker, Chief Titi Oseni, was impeached in May, 2008.

The speaker, who reasoned that the tension between the two arms could not be called a crisis, added that the two groups had never deemed it fit to brief the former President about the face-off.

He explained that Obasanjo might not have been briefed on the face-off since the misunderstanding between the two arms had not hindered the smooth running of government in the state.

Egbetokun said, “We have not, for once, gone to him that this is the problem, please resolve if for us. We have actually offended Chief Obasanjo because we have never contacted him.

“As an elder statesman, somebody who had been the President, we need to take our case to him for his intervention. Because we have not taken our case to him, he has not called us. I can’t say precisely the role he has played.

“There will be grey areas, but the fact that the legislative and executive arms are independent bodies, whatever decision we take is not for an individual but for all the people.

“The misunderstanding should not go far but when it comes to a stage where we see ourselves as opposition, that will be bad.”

He admitted that the crisis had its roots in the suspension of his predecessor, which he described as an “ordinary decision” of the Assembly.

“That decision should be seen as an ordinary decision but people still hang on to that,” he said.

Despite the dominance of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Egbetokun warned the leadership of the party not to underrate any political party in the forthcoming elections.

He said, “That there is no opposition in the state now does not mean that the party will have a smooth run in the 2011 governorship election because others are not going to sit and watch us.”

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