*MPs evacuate families from quarters


Lawmakers in the Edo State House of Assembly Tuesday held parallel plenary sessions along political party lines following the crisis that has hit the Assembly

The now suspended nine PDP members of the assembly led by Rt Hon Festus Ebea (Esan southeast) and acting as the Speaker, began sitting at about 10am without the mace and allied assembly personnel.

And within five minutes of their sitting, the group in retaliation suspended the Speaker Uyi Igbe (APC, Oredo West) and Hon Philip Shaibu (Etsako West I).

Their decision followed a motion moved by Hon Kingsley Ehigiamusoe (Igueben) calling for the suspension of the duo and five others over allegations of bringing the legislature into disrepute by bringing thugs to the hallowed chambers to harass lawmakers. The motion was seconded by Hon Patrick Iluobe(Esan northeast I).

Thereafter Ebea asked for a voice vote and the other eight PDP members present, including Hon Monday Ehighalua (Esan west), Emma Okoduwa(Esan northeast II), Razaq Momoh (Etsako West I) Jude Ise-Idehen (Ikpoba-Okha), and Friday Ogieriakhi (Orhionwon), approved the resolution as plenary was adjourned till Wednesday.

No sooner had the PDP lawmakers concluded sitting and made their exit from chambers than they were ambushed and attacked by thugs who had besieged the assembly complex.

In the process Hon Osayimen was wounded on his lower lip before armed policemen ferried him to safety.

However, 15 APC legislators led by Speaker Uyi Igbe (APC, Oredo West) held their own plenary at the chambers soon as the PDP members left and passed a resolution calling on the President and the Inspector-general of Police to provide they and their families with security.

The resolution followed a motion moved by Hon Kabiru Adjoto (Akoko-Edo II) and seconded by Hon Victor Edoror (Esan Central). The house subsequently adjourned sitting till Wednesday.

Though lawmakers shied away from commenting on the parallel sessions, Hon Philip Shaibu raised an alarm of lawmakers consequent upon Monday’s resolution suspending Ebea and three other PDP members for allegedly dragging the assembly before a law court.

Showing reporters bullet holes on the main gate leading to the legislators’ quarters on Ihama road, GRA, Benin City, which he said came from shots fired by unidentified persons, he said his colleagues and himself have been receiving threatening phone calls and sms.

Commenting on the parallel sitting of the assembly, he said it is not possible for the minority to upturn the decision of the majority APC lawmakers of the assembly.

On his part Hon Adjoto said the unfolding drama in Edo state calls for concern adding: “As a responsible assembly, we have resolved to play our role as legislators. Nobody has monopoly of violence. Edo is not like Rivers where Abuja can pump money to destabilize”.

There were also indications Tuesday that Legislators from both sides of the political divide have evacuated their families and aides to their unknown destinations turning the vibrant quarters into a ghost town with only armed policemen everywhere.

PDP Speaker, Ebea said he has lost touch with his cook and personal assistant as reports reaching him say they were abducted by thugs , who destroyed their mobile phones and took them to unknown destinations while vandalizing his official residence.

Also Edo state Police Commissioner Mr Foluso Adebanjo who was at the assembly complex briefly said nine persons were in custody for their roles in the fracas that took place after the PDP members sitting.


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