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Edo State House of Assembly: Drama As Men Smash Mace, Properties Destroy, Governor Godwin Obaseki clash police


Drama played out on Thursday at the Edo State House of Assembly when dozens of heavily armed security operatives stormed the complex, leading to the eventual renovation of the complex.

As early as 8 am, police officers comprising operatives attached to the Police Mobile Force and Operation Thunderstorm occupied the complex in Benin City, the state capital.

They were later joined by personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), preventing entry into the Assembly premises.

Channels Television gathered that the move was purportedly to forestall an alleged plan to attack the facility by some unnamed persons.

A Desperate Opposition?

A short while after the police took over the complex, some supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo thronged the scene, chanting solidarity songs in support of the current leadership of the Assembly.

Amid the chanting by the supporters, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is seeking re-election on the PDP platform, also arrived at the complex alongside the Speaker of the House, Frank Okiye, and went straight into the Assembly premises without resistance from the security operatives.

In his reaction, the governor condemned what he described as the desperation of his major opponent and his supporters for allegedly planning to take over the assembly complex and occupy it in order to disrupt the democratic process and rule of law.

He, however, affirmed his determination to ensure that the rule of law and one-man-one-vote was accomplished in the state.

Okiye, on his part, alleged that the police action was instigated from Abuja while the governor vowed to ensure the lawmakers and the people of the state were protected.

Invasion Turned Renovation

After addressing the supporters, Governor Obaseki left the scene while the police once again ordered the party supporters outside the complex, where they continued their solidarity dance.

Thereafter, tipper trucks drove to the complex where they off-loaded sand and gravel in front of the Assembly in what the government explained was part of ongoing reconstruction work at the complex.

Some unknown persons climbed the roof of the complex where they removed the mace.

Others believed to be construction workers were also seen removing the rooftop of the building in what appeared to be part of the renovation exercise.

When asked why taking such action, they said they were working on instructions from the appropriate authorities.

A Prototype Unveiled

Despite the unsettling events at the complex, the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, and Okiye inspected the ongoing work at the site where they unveiled a prototype for the rebuilding of the assembly.

The blockade of the Assembly complex as well as the removal of its rooftop, which seemed to be a new twist in the political sphere in Edo, have led to a war of words between the PDP and the All Progressives Congress.