OrderPaperToday – Some members of the Edo State House of Assembly have alleged that the state government only releases funds for Constituency Projects to members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmakers, who pleaded anonymity, are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the opposition party in Edo State.
They told OrderPaperNG in an exclusive chat that the PDP members who are in the minority visited the state governor, Godwin Obaseki recently to register their displeasure but stressed that there has been no change of attitude from the state government.
“Is it right for a state governor to select those he will pay constituency allowance because some of us are not members of his party?” one of the aggrieved legislator asked, before adding that 4 PDP members in the state Assembly have “done more work” than 20 APC members despite being denied funds for constituency projects.
On how the constituency project scheme operates in Edo state, the lawmakers disclosed that constituency projects are appropriated for in the state’s budget and all projects are under the state Ministry of Housing even if they are not housing related projects.
They however reiterated that the state Ministry of Finance only releases funds for APC members and stressed that lawmakers are not permitted to speak out to the press due to “House rules” and influence from the state government.
When asked if Edo state voted in favour of financial independence for the State House of Assembly during the recent constitutional amendment, he said: “Edo is the only state assembly that threw out all the proposed amendments into the dust bin of history and they did this in the absence of PDP members because they knew we were going for a meeting in Port-Harcourt.”
He called on the state government to have a change of heart as the current practice is against the tenents of democracy.
When contacted to react to the allegations levelled against the state government, a media aide to the Edo state Governor, Crusoe Osagie declined comment, describing the accusation as a “legislative matter.”
OrderPaperNG also sought the reaction of the Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Kabir Adjoto who demanded to know the identity of the member making the allegations and then hung up the phone. He refused to respond to further calls and text messages.