It has come to my knowledge that the responsive lawmaker representing the good people of Ese-Odo State Constituency in the Ondo State House of Assembly is on the verge of being suspended by his political party; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the House of Assembly. The threat to suspend him is coming on the heel of his poignant reaction to the lack of inclusion, development and the general abysmal performance of the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state as it affects the Arogbo-Ijaw (Ibe)Kingdom.
Immediately the lawmaker granted the viral interview, the first to react was the Information Commissioner who coincidentally is a younger cousin of the the Lawmaker from Agwobiri quarters, Arogbo with scathing remarks about the interview granted by the lawmaker without responding to the fundamental issues raised in the interview by the lawmaker. Instead, the government side of the story passed the blame to the Deputy Governor as if the bulk stops on the table of the Deputy Governor.
The next to come was an unfriendly invitation by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the lawmaker querying him for disparaging the party in the eye of the public. I do not know when speaking about the lack of development and inclusion amounts to public ridicule of a political party. This is same party that had persistently refused to grant the lawmaker the much sought after audience in his desire to make the grievances of the people he represents known to the party and the Governor.
As things stands today, the party has directed the lawmaker to publicly apologize or risk suspension by the party and the House of Assembly. The Engr. Ade Adetimehin led APC seems ready to carry out the threat but the position of the Rt.(Hon.)Prophet Bamidele Oloyelogun led House of Assembly is not yet clear.
Let it be made loud and clear to all those orchestrating this unpopular move that the average Arogbo man is with the lawmaker and we stand by every bit of what he said irrespective of party affiliation, class or creed. This much we have variously expressed in fora where the opportunity avail itself.
Any suspension order placed on Chief Torhukerijoh is a suspension done in bad taste and an arrant display of political chauvinism and suppression. This is because, what he expressed is purely the position and feeling of the average Arogbo man about this government. Under normal circumstances, the Arogbo-Ijaw Ibe(Kingdom) is supposed to feel at home with this government considering the filial relationship the Ibe has with the Governor and the Deputy Governor, but the reverse is the case.
The democratic response to the cry of the lawmaker is not a threat of suspension but to make deliberate effort to address the issues raised by the him in the said stormy interview. I understand the Governor has met with The Agadagba of Arogbo-Ijaw (Ibe)Kingdom; His Royal Majesty Pere (Barr) Z. D. Egbunu the Opukutu III and other notable sons and senior citizens of the Ibe to address the fears of the people.
While the troubleshooting by the governor is going on, the APC as a party cannot afford to embark on measures that are counterproductive to the effort of the Governor. All those onboard the ignoble ship should disembark from it and follow through the machinery that has been set in motion by the Governor.
Any suspension placed on Chief Success Taiwo Torhukerijoh is a deliberate affront on the Arogbo-Ijaw Ibe(Kingdom) in particular and the Ese-odo State Constituency in general, as the ever resistive people of Arogbo cannot afford to stand idly and watch but to resist the orchestrated plan. Such misplaced action will also go further to prove the points earlier raised by the Lawmaker that his people are being marginalized being the only Ijaw speaking Lawmaker in the 26(Twenty-six) Members House of Assembly.
A legislator is elected to speak the mind of his Constituents but not that of the party platform which nominated him as it is a mere vehicle to the legislature. In climes where independent candidacy is allowed, a lawmaker need not be a member of a particular political party before running for an office, he could run as an independent.
A political party should not be used as a tool of oppressing the people and suppressing their views.
The first-line charge of a lawmaker is accountability to the people he represents and he is expected to stand for them and be their voice, which is exactly what Chief Success Taiwo Torhukerijoh has done.
Aki Amuluku wrote from Bolowou, Ondo State.
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