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Heavily Armed Policemen Take Over Edo Assembly As Oyegun Set up Committee to Resolve Edo APC Crisis

By Ignatius Okpara, Ayo Afolabi

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Heavily armed policemen Monday took over the premises of the crisis-ridden Edo State House of Assembly to avert possible breakdown of law and order by the lawmakers.

Our Correspondent observed that no fewer than 10 police Hilux patrol vans as well as an Armoured Personnel Carrier APC, were stationed  strategically within and around the  Anthony Enahoro  Assembly complex, located opposite the national museum and monument centre, in the Kings square axis, Benin city.

The development however, made access into the Assembly complex to be restricted by regular and mobile police officers who were positioned at the three entrance gates.

Apart from members of the public who may have one thin or the other to the in the house, staffers  of the house were also prevented by the security operatives from getting into their respective offices.

Abiodun Osifo, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, explained that the move was aimed at “avoiding repetition of what happened last Wednesday at the complex”.

AFRICAN EXAMINER recalled that serious crisis ensued in the house last Wednesday after the 16 lawmakers, impeached their former Speaker, Victor Edoro, who was immediately replaced by the first female Speaker, Elizabeth Ativie.

Meanwhile, The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun on Monday inaugurated a five-member fact-finding/reconciliation committee to look into immediate and remote problems affecting the party and stakeholders in Edo state.

The five-member committee is chaired by former Osun State Governor, His Excellency, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. Other members are APC National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso (Vice Chairman); Senator Ndoma Egba (Member); Hajiya Fatimah Mohammed (Member) and Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi (Member).

The Edo state APC governorship primaries is scheduled for June 18, 2016, the APC National Chairman disclosed during the inauguration.

His words:

“I want to thank His Excellency, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Senator Ndoma Egba; Senator Osita Izunaso; Hajiya Fatimah Mohammed and Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi for agreeing at very short notice to undertake this very challenging assignment to arrest the unfortunately deteriorating situation in Edo state.

“It  is a matter for concern at all levels of party and government that a state we hold so dear to our heart; a state where there has been a lot of breakthroughs in terms of development that the state has not witnessed for a long time; a state under an APC Governor who has done so much to uplift virtually every part of Edo State that suffered neglect over a long period of PDP administration that just a matter of months to an election and weeks to primaries should be engulfed, so to speak, in the kind of unfortunate intra-party disputes at virtually all levels, party level, government level and now the state Assembly.

“You have been very specially chosen because of the extremely high level of integrity and demonstrated support of the vision of the party, to go to Edo state, to restore normalcy within the fold of the APC.

“It  is important to emphasize the fact that for us, Edo is a critical state strategically. I hope I would not be mis-interpreted, if I say it is also a must win state. So your job in Edo is not just to restore peace and help restore normalcy in that state, but to also come out with suggestions that would restore the party in that state, to be a dependable political fighting force and ready to win the forthcoming election.

“I will also want you to go with a definite mandate and let everybody know that at the National level we assure them that there would be free and fair primaries, and there would be for all aspirants a level playing field. And we expect that in the run-up to the primaries, which we expect to hold on the 18th of June, that all aspirants must be given equal exposure by the party structures in Edo state.

“There is nothing wrong so to speak if influential individuals within the state, even the Governor to state a preference in terms of the aspirants. We are a party of change and we must emphasize that in everything that we do, the example that was set with our presidential primaries. That was one of the major event that catapulted the APC to where we are today.

“And we are not going to go back on the need, the necessity, for free and fair primaries, which mean that the party itself min the state must be as neutral as possible because all aspirants are their children.

“So this is the message I want you to go with and do everything that you can to arbitrate in the state Assembly, Party and may be even at the executive level. A lot rides with the success of your assignment. Infact, I would almost say don’t come back until you have succeeded in restoring the party and the Edo state APC to health. So I wish you the very best of luck. And God grant you the wisdom to undertake this assignment. Thank you very much for agreeing to serve”.



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