Posted by Nelson Dafe, Benin City | 11 June 2014 | 3,433 times
The crisis at the Edo State House of Assembly reached a boiling point this morning as warring lawmakers came to blows at the chambers of the House.
The crisis was sparked on Monday by the suspension of four legislators who had decamped from the state’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The suspended lawmakers led by Deputy Speaker Festus Ebea and seven others yesterday were escorted to the House by men of the state police command, where they, in turn, suspended the Speaker, and Ebea was elected the new Speaker.
This resulted in violent scenes yesterday as the APC legislators returned to the House after the exit of the renegade four, and declared their action illegal. Police used canisters of tear gas to clear the compound of the legislative house as supporters of both factions clashed.
The stage was set for confrontation this morning when both factions returned to the House for sitting. The police ensured that all non-essential staff were not allowed into the main chambers as the legislators faced off with each other. Blows and punches flew in the air before the Edo State Police Commissioner, Folorunso Adebayo, personally stepped in to pull fighting legislators apart.
As at press time both factions were locked inside deliberating on the way out.
Meanwhile, the compound of the state House of Assembly has been cordoned off by stern-looking policemen with Armored Personnel Carriers, with a crowd of youths singing anti-Governor Adams Oshiomhole songs.
•Photo by Nelson Dafe shows battle-ready policemen advancing towards the Edo State House of Assembly this morning.
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