There was tension in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday as the 19 All Progressives Congress lawmakers stormed the Ekiti State House of Assembly to resume legislative duties.
Their return, which, caught workers and the seven Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers loyal to Governor Ayodele Fayose unawares created palpable tension as officials of the Assembly started packing their loads.
The return of the lawmakers followed Tuesday’s directive by the State Secretariat of the party asking them to resume legislative duties.
But over 100 soldiers and police promptly took over the Assembly to maintain peace while the Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, ordered its immediate closure.
The 19 APC lawmakers had been on self-exile since November 20, 2014 when the seven PDP lawmakers impeached the Speaker, Dr. Adewale Omirin and his deputy, Tunji Orisalade.
Mr. Dele Olugbemi, an ally of the governor was installed as the Speaker by the faction and had been presiding over the Assembly.
Those that returned to the Assembly on Wednesday with Omirin include Orisalade, Mrs. Wunmi Ogunlola, Mr. Ade Ajayi and Gbenga Odebunmi among others.
The Omirin-led lawmakers arrived the Assembly in a convoy of 14 vehicles at around 12 noon and hurriedly went into parliamentary session which started with praise and worship, as well as prayer said by Mr. Folorunso Ogundele, representing Efon constituency.
The session lasted for ten minutes and when the lawmakers emerged from the Assembly and briefed the pressmen, who had patiently been waiting outside.
Omirin, who spoke on behalf of members disclosed that they were in the assembly to begin their legislative duty.
As they emerged from the Assembly, some of them chanted ‘Sai Buhari, Sai Baba’-the political slogan of the President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Omirin described Olugbemi as an impostor, saying he has come to take his rightful place.
“Why are you surprised that we are here? I don’t expect you to expect surprise that we are in our offices because we are duly elected as members of the State House of Assembly.
“This is my office and I shouldn’t be asked why I am here. Though we have instituted a case against the seven lawmakers for the fake impeachment against me, but that would not prevent us from doing what we are supposed to do,” Omirin stated.
When asked whether Buhari’s victory prompted their action, Omirin said “No, that is not true. It was just a mere coincidence. Don’t forget, the fact that I am not here since November does not mean I have not been performing my duties. So, whether Buhari is declared or not, we have to do our work.
“I have been attending Speakers’ meetings in Abuja and attending to my people at my constituency, so we haven’t abdicated our duty.”
Efforts made by Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in Ekiti State to pacify APC Lawmakers not to reconvene fell on deaf ears, as the lawmakers engaged him in verbal war and told him that they needed not to take any permission from the police before holding their session.
When the factional speaker, Olugbemi emerged from the Assembly, he criticised the Police Commissioner for closing down the Assembly.
“Mr CP, I don’t think it was right to have closed down the Assembly. We have the capacity to contain the APC lawmakers. We are ready to meet them fire for fire.”
But the CP said he took the action to prevent violence in the State, saying the police must be proactive to prevent Ekiti from being plunged into crisis.
Meanwhile, jubilant APC members took over the streets of Ado Ekiti, the state capital to celebrate Buhari’s victory in the Saturday’s Presidential election.
They seized the ever-busy Ado-Ekiti-Akure highway along Ajilosun area as early as 5:30am in defiance to the 7:30 p.m to 6 a.m curfew imposed by the governor before the declaration of the final result.
The state Publicity Secretary of APC, Taiwo Olatubosun, had on Tuesday urged the Ekiti people to ignore Fayose’s curfew and celebrate the party’s victory at the presidential poll.
The jubilant crowd, numbering about 1,000 brandished brooms, which is the APC’s symbol while many others used the large sized-posters of Gen. Buhari as garments.
Policemen were on the ground to control the traffic and maintain the peace and order.
While some were singing and dancing on the highway, others were beating drums and shouting praises of Buhari.
One of them, Mr. Okunola Olumide, said there was no known law in Nigeria that forbids people from rejoicing over legitimate accomplishments such as naming ceremony, promotion as well as winning of elections.
Another spokesperson, Mrs. Wuraola Ogunyemi, said mass jubilation over Buhari’s victory was a national exercise, and wondered why the governor would hurriedly impose a curfew.
They also advised the governor to allow the APC legislators perform their constitutional duties or risk another round of impeachment.
“Ordinarily, we do not have problems with Fayose as a governor so as not to see our party as jealous of his profile, as long as he allows our members in the House to perform the functions attached to their offices as representatives of the people and stop serial attacks on our state secretariat and posters.
“Fayose had written those of us in APC off, in the political arrangement of Ekiti State, because he said few days ago that his party, PDP would again win all State Assembly seats in the coming election, we shall see how he will achieve that now,” another supporter said.
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