Angry youths stormed the Assembly complex Monday morning, protesting the sacking of lawmaker Idongesit Ituen and four others for defecting to PDP.
Fred Itua, Abuja, with agency report
The premises of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in Uyo, the state capital, has been sealed off by the officers of the Nigeria Police Force.
Lawmakers and staff of the Assembly were reportedly denied access into the complex, yesterday, as it was cordoned off by armed police personnel.
There was also a heavy security presence at all the entrances leading into the complex.
Crisis had earlier erupted at the Assembly on Monday, when the Speaker, Onofiok Luke, declared vacant the seats of five lawmakers who had defected from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
As at yesterday morning police trucks were seen barricading the road leading to the building. However, the reason for the police’s action was still unclear as at press time yesterday.
“Sorry, there’s no thoroughfare; nobody is allowed to drive or walk through this road,” one of the police officers barricading the road told newsmen.
Angry youths, suspected to be members of the opposition APC, stormed the Assembly complex on Monday morning, protesting the sacking of a lawmaker, Idongesit Ituen and four other APC lawmakers for defecting to PDP.
The sacked lawmakers, in turn, held their own sitting where they ‘removed’ the speaker, Luke, and “elected” one of them, Nse Ntuen (Essien Udim State Constituency) as the “new speaker.”
The development came hours after a new police boss was sent to Akwa Ibom.
In its reaction, the state government condemned the removal of the immediate past Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Abang.
In a statement, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Charles Udoh, said the commissioner of police was hurriedly withdrawn from Akwa Ibom, for “doing his professional duty responsibly.
“Apart from the fact that the outgoing commissioner of police barely spent a month in the state, the circumstances surrounding his removal is a mockery to the nation and a contrast to the insecurity battle of the Federal Government.
But, Abang dismissed social media reports of his transfer from the state.
“I actually read it on the social media. I don’t take instruction from social media. I am yet to receive signal from the headquarters. If it is true, when I get directive from Abuja, I will let you know,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator Bassey Akpan has alleged that the five lawmakers who recently defected to the APC are plotting to impeach the Governor Udom Emmanuel. The senator, who represents Akwa Ibom North-East told newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, that the purported sealing of the state Assembly complex,
was part of alleged plot to provide a cover for the five lawmakers to commence an impeachment move against the governor.
He warned that any attempt to throw the state into crisis will be resisted. Akpan, who is now the only PDP senator from the state in the Red Chamber, warned against using federal might to intimidate politicians from other parties.
He had earlier raised a point of order on the floor of the Senate and told his colleagues that about 1,500 armed policemen were deployed to the state Assembly complex yesterday.
Regardless, the APC has admitted it is determined to take over Akwa-Ibom and other PDP-controlled states, through a properly conducted elections.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, told Daily Sun that the PDP is jittery.
“The APC is not known for impunity and the party is schooled and act based on the rule of law…”