Edo 2020: Tension as Police take over Assembly Complex

Edo 2020: Tension as Police take over Assembly Complex

Thursday, August 6, 2020 10:57 am

Police officers at the Edo Assembly complex on Thursday morning (photo credit: Vanguard

Crises over the Edo 2020 governorship election took another twist on Thursday morning with the take over of the  House of Assembly complex in Benin City by a detachment of security operatives led by the police.

The Police team which was led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Ayoola Ajala include operatives from the Police Mobile Force and Operation Thunderstorm.

The police team which deployed over 10 patrol vehicles in front of the House of Assembly was later joined by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

It was not clear who invited the police, but it was learnt that the action may be related to the impeachment of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon. Yekini Idiaye on Wednesday.

It was learnt Idiaye was impeached for pledging loyalty for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

The impeached Deputy Speaker HAD pledged loyalty and support to Ize-Iyamu, the main opponent to Governor Godwin Obaseki in the September 19 governorship election.

But the Speaker of the Assembly, Frank Okiye said Idiaye was impeached over misconduct and revealing secret information of the Assembly.

The Speaker later raised the alarm over what he called dubious plans by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo state and stakeholders of the APC in the state, to import a fake mace to with a view to forcefully take over the Assembly.

He alleged that the plans were being perfected in collusion with the impeached deputy speaker in a statement he made available to journalists.

He called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Presidency to call Uzodinma and others working with him on the plans to desist and allow the laws of the state to guide them.

“The state’s polity is already heated by the high political tension from the electioneering campaigns. Their planned action is akin to lighting a match in an already tensed political environment, which conflagration is capable of causing crisis in the state, and of a scale beyond our imagination.

“We call on Edo people whose mandate and interests the state’s legislature holds and protects, to rise against this planned attack and plot to subvert their will and subjugate them, using external forces.

“We urge lovers of democracy across the world, institutions that uphold democratic tenets and values, pro-democracy groups, to denounce this planned illegality that seeks to seek to distract a duly constituted authority.

“We recognise the constitutional right of the three members of the House of Assembly to support the candidate of their choice, but that should not distract them from coming to work to carry out the job they were elected for,” he said.

Okiye said he and his colleagues remain committed to the protection of the democratic rights of Edo people, noting that legislature remains a sacred institution in the democratisation process.

When contacted for reaction, the Commissioner for Special Projects of Imo State, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem, said: “The illegal Speaker and his governor are not making sense to me with this baseless allegation. I don’t even know what they are talking about because there is no House of Assembly in Edo state. I think that is why the so-called Speaker is running away from his shadow like a criminal that will always run once he sees a law enforcement agent.

“However, I don’t know why he should draw the leg of His Excellency, Governor Hope Uzodinma into his political problems. My Governor is interested in working with other APC governors and stakeholders to reclaim Edo State which has been an APC state  before Governor Obaseki donated it to the PDP.

“The illegal Speaker and his principal are already jittery because of the imminent defeat in the coming election. You can see that his aides are resigning everyday including his Deputy Speaker. Now he is left with five lawmakers and does that show that he is in charge?”

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