I am prepared to step down as Speaker, if… – Adjoto

The Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Alhaji Kabiru Adjoto, who emerged after the violent impeachment of former Speaker Dr Justin Okonoboh, has said that he is now prepared to step down as Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, apparently following pressures from several quarters including the traditional rulers of Edo North who called for his stepping aside for the sake of respecting the senatorial balance of the state.

He however gave conditions for his stepping aside.

Speaking to newsmen in his office,  Mr Adjoto expressed the view that his emergence was a function of democracy and if democracy also dictated otherwise that he was prepared to step aside.

When asked whether he was worried that his emergence has distorted the political tripod in the state, Mr Adjoto dismissed the question.

“We are in a democracy and I will not like to comment much on that. The parliament is an independent arm of government and a decision had been taken by the majority of the members of the parliament for a change in leadership.

“19 members came together that I should be their Speaker and today I am the Speaker.” Adjoto said.

Speaking further he stated that he was ready to step down if majority of the members asked him to step down.

“In a democracy there is room for discussions, so we are still talking. If at the end of the day, majority of our members say Adjoto should step down, I have no option than to step down.” He said.

Adjoto said that he is opposed to the idea of INEC taking over the conduct of local government elections from state independent electoral commission (SIEC)  which have been generally adjudged to be both very corrupt, inept and everything but independent.

“The issue of the conduct of Local Government elections should be left in the hands of the SIECs not INEC. INEC has a lot to cope with, you don’t need to add to their problem. They conduct House of Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship and presidential elections, so you don’t need to add Local Government election.”

On the question of granting autonomy to State Houses of Assembly, the violently installed Speaker said that  autonomy for parliament is good for the states.

“Democracy cannot survive if we don’t practice separation of powers, so if there is such a call for autonomy of the legislature, I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

 

URHOKPOTA REPORTERS
(Reporter of the Year 2016 Award Winner)

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