John Adams, Minna
There was pandemonium in Suleja Local Government council of Niger state, yesterday, when the police stopped the suspended chairman of the council, who was reinstated by court from assuming office.
A Suleja High Court presided over by Justice Ahmed Bima had, on June 21, this year, ordered Alhaji Ahmed Kassim to return to his seat, after the court found that he was illegally removed from office by the legislative arm of the council.
The court also directed the incumbent chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Maje, who was the vice chairman to Ahmed Kassim, to vacate office, immediately, and allow his former boss assume office.
However, armed with the court judgement, Alhaji Kassim, yesterday, accompanied by scores of his supporters, stormed the secretariat of the council, in attempt to enforce the court order, but met a brick wall, as the police barricaded the entrance of the secretariat and stopped him from gaining entry.
It was gathered that Alhaji Abdullahi Maje, who had earlier got the wind of plan by Alhaji Kassim to storm the secretariat, quickly resumed office as early as 7:00a.m. and was already on his seat before Kassim’s arrival.
It was further gathered that the police and operatives of the state Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) stopped Dikko and his supporters from entering the secretariat, and did not give Dikko any explanation for their action.
The police reportedly blocked the main entrance to the secretariat with a Hillux van, with registration number NPF 9102C.
An NSCDC vehicle with registration number CD 1096AOI was, also, strategically stationed near the gate in the secretariat.
The situation degenerated to chaos and pandemonium as the supporters of the embattled reinstated chairman used tyres to block the major highway leading to the town.
At this point, the entire atmosphere became tensed and uncontrollable, making the police shoot into the air and used tear gas to disperse the angry supporters who were in their hundreds.
The embattled chairman was later whisked away in a police Hillux van to an unknown destination, but unconfirmed report says he was taken to police headquarters in Minna, the state capital.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, DSP Muhammad Abubakar confirmed the story but said the police “only tried to avoid breakdown of law and order in the town
“Our men are there to maintain law and order we did not take side with any party in the dispute” DSP Abubakar said.