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Okiye, Ex-Edo Assembly Speaker Who Declared Vacant Seats of 14 Elected Members, Part Ways with Obaseki, Resigns from PDP - TELL Magazine

Okiye, Ex-Edo Assembly Speaker Who Declared Vacant Seats of 14 Elected Members, Part Ways with Obaseki, Resigns from PDP

Francis Okiye
Francis Okiye

Francis Okiye, a former strong political ally of Governor Godwin Obaseki, and ex-Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, has left the political camp of the governor, and resigned from the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Making his decision known on Friday, Okiye complained of alienation of majority of his constituents and supporters from activities and programmes of the party and the government of the state led by Governor Obaseki. He said his resignation was with immediate effect, though he was silent on his next political move. With his resignation, Okiye joins the growing list of chieftains of the PDP who have dumped the party of recent.

Okiye, who presided over the state House of Assembly, and represented Esan Northeast 1 constituency, was also a former governorship aspirant of the PDP. He was a member of the All-Progressives Congress, APC before defecting to PDP with Governor Obaseki. He was elected speaker Monday June 17, 2019, by nine out of the 24-member House during the nocturnal inauguration of the seventh assembly amidst allegation of imposition by the governor. He was impeached October 12, 2020, barely a month to the inauguration of the governor for his second term in office, paving the way for Marcus Onobun as the new speaker.

Recall that as speaker of the House, Okiye it was, acting in cahoots with Governor Obaseki, who on Wednesday December 4, 2019, declared vacant the seats of 14 elected members who were prevented from being sworn-in to represent their constituencies until their mandates expired. The crisis in the state legislature was a product of power play between Governor Obaseki and his estranged political godfather and predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, over who controls the House. Obaseki feared that he might be impeached if the 14 law makers who were loyal to Oshiomhole were allowed into the House.

Apparently out of favour with the governor, Okiye, in his resignation letter dated May 10, 2024, and addressed to the Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Ward 3, Arue, Uromi, Esan North-East Local Government, said “I have resigned my membership of the PDP as from May 10, 2024, and I have communicated same to the PDP through my ward chairman. My decision stemmed from the alienation of the majority of my constituents and supporters by the state government under Governor Godwin Obaseki from the activities and programmes of the party, and the government of the state. As if that is not enough, the party candidate has declared that he would continue with the governor’s principle should he win the September election. Other reasons why I quit the party are personal to me.”

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