The governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, has said that he did not intervene in the affairs of the state House of Assembly, nor did he have a preferred candidate for the leadership position of the House, because it was not appropriate to do so.
This was because he reaffirmed his commitment to the rule of law and separation of powers in the state.
Oyebanjo said this on Tuesday when the new Speaker of the House, Olubunmi Adelugba, who replaced Gboyega Aribisogan, was officially presented to him in his office by the chairman of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Paul Omotoso.
According to a statement issued by the state government, Oyebanji appreciated the leadership of the APC in the state for resolving the rift among state lawmakers and commended the House for showing the confidence reposed in them by their constituents and the leadership of the party.
The Governor used the opportunity to ask the new Speaker to quickly approve the budget that was with the House.
He said: “My comment is to thank the party leadership for resolving this family disagreement, it is not a crisis; democracy comes with strains and stresses. There are arguments and disagreements, but the beauty of democracy is that the resolution mechanisms are built in.
“And that’s what he played. It is an APC. I am a loyal member of this party; APC gave me the platform to stand on, without APC, I will not be here today.
“I refused to enter it from day one because I took an oath to defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Constitution is clear about the powers and duties of all arms of government. I am leading the executive arm of the government, they do not interfere when I do and it will be wrong and a violation of the constitution for me to interfere with what is happening in the House of Assembly.
“What I have done as your governor is to make sure that I protect lives and property and that is within my power as governor of this state. I have not obstructed, but I am happy with the outcome. As progressives, we have a culture and the culture is respect for leadership.
“And Madam Speaker, our budget is before the General Assembly and we are working very hard to ensure that we deliver on our promises to the people of Ekiti, but we cannot violate the existing rules and regulations. I call for the speedy passage of the budget.
“We should bring many things to the House of Honor, but we are waiting for the approval of the budget.
“While congratulating the new speaker, I will ask the party chair to bring everyone and for the first time, I will have to answer them quickly on social media about what happened in the General Assembly. It is a family matter and we would solve it as a family.”
Speaking earlier, Adelugba brushed aside talk of rancor in the House, expressing gratitude to the state APC chairman for the role he played in ensuring that the party’s decisions were implemented.
“Until now, everybody mentions that the Ekiti State House of Assembly is the most peaceful, a duty, with particular reference to the number of bills we have passed because we do not joke with our legislative activities,” he added.
The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Governor (Mrs.) Monisade Afuye; Ekiti State Deputy Speaker of the General Assembly, Hakeem Jamiu; Secretary to the State Government, Dr. (Mrs.) Habibat Adubiaro; Members of the State Executive Council; 18 members of the state House of Assembly and 16 local government area chairmen of the APC.