From Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin
Edo state police Command on Monday warned against imminent anarchy in the state if urgent steps were not taken to resolve the crisis rocking the State Assembly.
The State Commissioner of Police, Foluso Adebanjo who gave the warning at the Assembly premises, expressed fears that the crisis might escalate and therefore urged stakeholders in the state to urgently wade into the crisis rocking the assembly before it gets out of hand.
“I want to urge all stakeholders to intervene before this crisis claims lives. We should not allow the situation escalate,” he said, warning those fuelling the crisis to toe the path of peace in the interest of the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP lawmakers in the House, led by the deputy speaker, Festus Ebea, who had convened at the Assembly gate were prevented from gaining entrance into the Assembly complex by policemen as they attempted to resume sitting.
The lawmakers had last week adjourned sitting to Monday while their All Progressive Congress, APC counterparts similarly adjourned their sitting to Wednesday, 2 July, 2014.
Operatives of the State Police Command who arrived the Assembly premises as early as 6 am to enforce the warning issued by the Command on Sunday that no group of lawmakers would be allowed to sit separately, forced the PDP lawmakers to stay at the main entrance gate of the Anthony Enahoro Complex for about four hours before leaving.
Workers of the assembly were also not allowed in as all the offices were locked up, even as security was beefed up around the Assembly premises and the King’s Square.
Briefing journalists later, the suspended deputy speaker, Festus Ebea said they would not disobey any order from a competent court.
He said bullet proof have been placed on doors leading to the hallowed chamber and their offices.
“We have been here to resume for work. The police had told us they cannot open the chamber for just one group to do their legislative business. We adjourned till today and we found that the chamber has been a seriously armoured.
“There are bullet proof doors. We do not know why they have resorted to putting bullet proof doors on all the doors. We appreciated the market women and the youths for not listening to the governor to come out and enforce court orders.
“Because we cannot gain entrance into the chambers and my office has been shut down likewise my other colleagues, we are
adjourning to Monday, 7 July while we seek other avenues to resolving the crisis amicably,” Ebea said.