The Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Abumere Okiye and six other members of the legislative house, on Tuesday, October 6 formally defected from the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Okiye who announced the defection at plenary session added that he had received letters from the six members including himself, expressing their desires to decamp to the ruling party in the state so as to identify with the developmental strides of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The speaker relied on what he termed the sharp divisions and factions in the Edo state chapter of the APC as one of the reasons they decided to cross to PDP, to enable them to perform their duties effectively as representative of their constituencies.
Governor Obaseki now has 7 members of the state House of Assembly in his party.
Those who formally decamped are Rt. Hon Frank Okiye, Hon. Asoro Osadebamwen Roland. Hon. Aluebhosele Ephraim; Hon. Ojiezele Osezua Sunday; Hon. Okhuarobor Henry. Hon. Okoduwa Emma and Hon. Marcus Onobun.
It would be recalled that all the 24-member house were elected on the platform of the APC.
However, crisis ensued when only nine members presented themselves for inauguration on June 17, 2019, when Governor Obaseki issued the proclamation for the house to convey. The remaining 14 members-elect in August were inaugurated at a private residence in the state capital, Benin by a retired civil servant.
Okiye and the defecting six members, however, remained in the APC all through the electioneering campaigns and the election proper.