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Crisis looms in Ekiti House of Assembly 24 hours after election of new Speaker

By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado-Ekiti
17 November 2022   |   5:20 am
There was tension at the Ekiti State House of Assembly, yesterday, as aggrieved lawmakers were allegedly mobilising for a showdown over the choice of Speaker, Mr. Gboyega Aribisogan.

Ekiti State House of Assembly

Police take over, order workers to vacate offices
• Say we acted on security ale

There was tension at the Ekiti State House of Assembly, yesterday, as aggrieved lawmakers were allegedly mobilising for a showdown over the choice of Speaker, Mr. Gboyega Aribisogan.

Aribisogan was elected as the new Speaker of the Assembly on Tuesday after defeating Mrs. Olubunmi Adelugba from Emure-Ekiti in a keenly contested election.

However, following an alleged intelligence report over a planned invasion by some unidentified thugs, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Adesina Moronkeji, reportedly ordered the Assembly to be shut, just as workers were ordered to return home.

Armed policemen were stationed at strategic locations in the House to prevent the purported invasion and breakdown of law and order.

When The Guardian visited the Assembly, workers of the House were also sighted trooping out of their offices to their respective homes.

A source in the Assembly said that the aggrieved lawmakers were shocked that the idea of picking a consensus candidate as agreed with the leadership at a meeting in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday night was jettisoned.

Some of the workers, who spoke with newsmen under the condition of anonymity, said there was an order from the police headquarters that workers should vacate the Assembly in the interest of peace, saying some people were planning to attack the House of Assembly.

Meanwhile, the newly-elected Speaker, during a telephone chat with The Guardian, said there was no crisis in the Assembly.

He said: “The leadership of the police command in Ekiti State informed us this morning that they had verifiable intelligence about some hoodlums coming to attack the Assembly complex and to avoid breakdown of law and order, hence the need for their (police) presence.

“The police have promised us to conduct an investigation on the matter and report to us before the close of work today.

“I want to encourage my colleagues and workers of the Assembly to be patient and bear with us, as normalcy will soon return to the House.”

REACTING on the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, DSP Sunday Abutu, said they took the prompt action by placing restriction to prevent breakdown of law and order.

Abutu told members of the public not to entertain fear, saying the deployment was to safeguard the lives and government’s property over ominous signs that security was about to be breached at the Assembly’s complex.

The police spokesman said: “We acted on the security alert we received that some people were planning to invade the Assembly, and we owe it a duty to safeguard the life of the people and public utilities.

“We can’t wait or tarry and allow the life of workers of the Assembly to be threatened by any means. So, we took proactive measure by deploying our men there to secure the Assembly complex.

“Our people shouldn’t see our action as a big deal. No course for alarm. We are on top of the situation.”