Impeachment: Niger Assembly Complex Sealed Off

By Abu Nmodu on May, 7 2015

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As the crisis in Niger State House of Assembly deepens, the police in the state yesterday fired tear gas at lawmakers and staff of the Assembly preventing them from resuming to work.

This is coming even as Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu distanced himself from the crisis saying the crisis was not aimed at him but was a result of internal wrangling of the legislators.

A statement signed by the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr Israel Ebije said, “Those parading themselves as new leadership led by Hon. Isah Kawu met with the governor to explain their action and pledge their continuous support.”

The lawmakers had removed Hon Adamu Usman on Tuesday for allegedly shielding the executive, in what the members said amounted to shying away from his responsibility thereby giving the executive the impetus not to give the Assembly its dues and replaced him with Isah Kawu.

When the new speaker, the members and staff arrived the assembly complex yesterday morning they were disallowed from entering the premises and when the they insisted to enter, the police teargasssed them.

LEADERSHIP observed that more policemen were drafted to the complex but the lawmakers confronted the police on reasons for shutting them out, as result of that argument ensued, which attracted onlookers from the state secretariat.

On discovering that the crowd was building up at the gate of the complex, the police fired tear gas which forced the crowd to disperse while the police took control of the complex completely.

The member representing Agaie constituency, Hon. Jibrin Akwanu, said that the members of the assembly left to avoid break down of law and order.

He said “We saw a crowd coming to join us at the gate and some people coming from the state secretariat also. We are law abiding citizens and we would not want anybody to die in the process. We decided to leave the place for the sake of peace and safety of the public”.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Niger State command, Ibrahim Gambari, said that the tear gas was not targeted at the lawmakers but those who may want to hide under the situation to cause break down of law and order.

He said, “The police is not against the lawmakers and we did not stop them from performing their duty. But like I said before, police have information that some people are trying to cause problem at the premises and we have to take proactive measures to forestall any break down of law and order.”

LEADERSHIP gathered that after the tear gas scenario the lawmakers retreated to their quarters behind the complex where the secretary to the state government (SSG), Hon Ndako Idris Kpaki and commissioner for local government, Alhaji Garba Tagwai, met with the new principal officers briefly.

It was learnt that immediately after the meeting, the principal officers drove with their visitors to see the governor in a closed door meeting.

Through the details of the meeting were not disclosed as at press time, Ebije confirmed the meeting in a statement yesterday.

The statement said the crisis rocking the state Assembly was an internal affair and has nothing to do with the alleged move to remove the governor.

He said in the statement that the governor enjoys robust relationship with the House of Assembly and that the healthy relationship between the Governor and the lawmakers has made Niger state one of the best with high turnover of new laws.

It will however be recalled that yesterday the impeached Speaker Adamu Usman had stated that the target of his impeachment was Governor Aliyu saying “ Don’t be surprised that impeachment notice is served on the Governor of Niger state tomorrow, the Governor should be prepared”

Source: Leadership


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