Edo State House of Assembly Election: Will it be filled dummies or proxies
As the day of the Edo State House of Assembly Elections draws nearer, the lesser we hear about the actual candidates who are contesting. The campaign space has been largely dominated with the names of political gladiators like Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Governor Godwin Obaseki, Chief Dan Orbih etc; it is amazing that none of them is contesting the elections. Their conduct in some quarters can be viewed as a threat to peace before, during and after the election. The contestants has a role to play in this by letting the people hear them. They are potential route for post election crisis ridden House of Assembly when they choose not to heed the call of their master and heed the call of their master at the expense of the people..
Little has really been heard from those contesting; we cannot really speak of how eloquent they are nor how assertive they can be in taking position of adequately representing the people of their Constituency.
One is tempted to ask, whose interest would those contesting be representing?
Are they coming to represent the interest of the people in their Constituency or that of their political leaders?
How long shall we continue in this politics of revenge where people are sponsored to avenge an interest instead of serving the people?
How long shall we be wasting tax payer’s money on people who are on a self serving mission?
Are we practicing democracy or revengocracy using political office holders as foot soldiers?
Do they really have a mind of their own or they are coming to play dummies or proxies that would be taking directives from yet to be identified leaders.
A simple street opinion has revealed that many voters do not know the names of some of those who are contesting the House of Assembly election. There are no adequate videos in circulation to hear them talk beyond pictures that does not reveal much about their personality.
Could we actually be getting ready to vote proxies into the House? It is on record that in the last House of Assembly election, some persons who won election refused to be inaugurated based on directives from certain quarters. It was amazing how the House with less than 50% of expected members continued their legislative affairs without some Constituencies being represented. Edo people hoped upon hope that a bye election would be conducted to fill the seat declared vacant. This hope has been taken to the next election come March 18th, 2023.
Sometime in future we would be informed of the cost saved at the expense of the people from those who were not inaugurated.
Again one can readily deduce from the way the current House of Assembly is operated that if some persons are satisfied with what is happening, they careless about the people.
The Citizens must understand that people who were seen making promises during campaign have failed us at some points; so what really do we expect from those who did not address the people they want to represent. They cannot continually hide under the shade of their godfathers, people need to know those contesting in the various Constituencies. The quality of the people contesting would also determine the quality of House of Assembly we would get in the next dispensation.
It is good to actually campaign and vote along political party lines, however, if one is not satisfied with the quality of the candidate of your party, you can actually shop for another.
As the election draws near, the Candidates should reach out to their Constituency and let them know who they pledge allegiance to. We do not need House of Assembly members that would not consult their Constituencies; we do not need House of Assembly members who would be taking directives from one godfather; we do not need House of Assembly members who would be taking directives hook, line and sinker from the Executive arm of Government.
We need a vibrant House of Assembly that can make independent decision based on the Constitution and not personal interest. A House of Assembly that would perform their duties as gazetted.
For the House of Assembly election, vote only Candidates who can perform these functions without fear or favour:
1. Law making
2. Representative Function
3. Deliberative Function
4. Administrative Function (Confirmation of Appointments)
5. Oversight Investigative Function
6. Quasi-Judicial Function
7. Judicial Function
When a functional House of Assemly is in place, the Constituencies are properly represented and Executive rascality is brought under control.
What kind of House of Assembly do we need? A State House of Assembly filled dummies, proxies or independent minds?
We must have learnt a lesson and the choice still largely remain ours. Remember, when the right candidates are elected, it is one of the guarantees of peace after election.
Finally, we encourage eligible voters to come out and vote in the right candidates.
Dr. Bright Oniovokukor
Convener, Rally for Peaceful Election