All hail to the people power demonstrated so resolutely in the Edo State capital yesterday that succeeded in thwarting the attempted invasion of the Edo State House of Assembly in the Chief Anthony Enahoro Complex. It was a people’s victory over election brigandage and rascality but more significantly it was spontaneous mass resistance to APC’s outrageous disdain for constitutional boundaries in Edo State.
All three branches of our democracy came under APC attack yesterday purely to advance narrow political objectives and a banal partisan agenda.
The atrocities though spurious are significant in their constitutional challenge. The Executive authority reposed in the Governor has been flouted with impunity by the refusal of members-elect to be inaugurated following the Governor’s proclamation on July 17, 2019. The legislative environment has consequently been rendered dysfunctional for over a year.
Yesterday, its very essence was almost hijacked. The self-help tactics deployed by expired members-elect have forestalled and compromised adjudication of the courts where various cases have been filed and are still open, awaiting judicial resolution. No branch of government has been left untainted, no dimension of the separation of powers under our constitution has escaped corrosion. The instrumentalist abuse of our democracy by the power hungry who have so blatantly usurped constitutional authority will not be forgotten; it must be named and penalized.
The inter-branch conflicts provoked by expedient politics are a test of the efficacy of the delicate system of checks and balances that make sense of our federal arrangements under our constitution. The Courts must be allowed to intervene to interpret statute, create precedent and the jurisprudence to define and strengthen our democracy. Fortunately, the people’s intuition and conviction have prevailed to ensure the good of our beloved country.