Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Again, Rivers Assembly Adjourns Sitting Indefinitely

 The Rivers State House of Assembly Sunday announced an indefinite postponement of resumption of legislative activities following the crisis in the state.

The assembly had earlier adjourned sitting in the wake of the power struggle in the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was billed to resume sitting today.

However, the Speaker,  Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree, in a statement Sunday night, said the assembly would no longer resume plenary following information of an alleged plot by a faction in the PDP to cause crisis.

He added that it was necessary to postpone resumption of sitting in the assembly because the police, which had earlier approved the deployment of more personnel to beef up security around the assembly complex had cancelled the permit.

He linked the U-turn by the police to part of a grand plot, orchestrated by those he described as “Abuja-based politicians with the collaboration of some politicians and security agencies in the state” to destabilise Rivers.

He explained that a part of the plot was executed last Friday with the deployment of troops in  Obio-Akpor Local Government Area to sack the interim executive committee of the council put in place following the dissolution of the council leadership by the assembly.

“This (invasion of the council secretariat) was a test run of what they intend to do to all democratic structures in  the state. “Ironically, a request by the house for the deployment of police operatives to guard and protect the assembly complex, earlier approved, was unceremoniously withdrawn by the commissioner of police Rivers State command on ''orders from above,'' Amachree said.

“We are aware of plans to stall the  sittings of the house through disruptive and violent acts by five members of the house intended to culminate into sporadic shootings and firing of tear gas canisters by security agencies outside the chambers under the guise of maintaining law and order.

“We are being inundated with threats of arrests, assassinations and violence of all descriptions on the persons of the speaker and 26 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly," he added.

The assembly condemned the war of attrition being waged against the state and  other actions to destabilise it and urged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to investigate the matter.

It also called for the immediate redeployment of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu, adding that the people have lost confidence in his ability to carry out his constitutional duties legally.

Meanwhile, Chairman, Obio-Akpor Executive Caretaker Committee, Mr. Chikaodi Dike, earlier in a statement Sunday had  said last Friday’s invasion of the council  secretariat in Romuodomaya by a team of policemen, acting on the “orders from above” was an attempt to cause a breakdown of law and order in the local government area.

Dike, Sunday gave an account of the invasion of the council secretariat by a team of policemen.

Dike, in a statement said: “We can now authoritatively reveal to Rivers people that the same Abuja forces who orchestrated the barricading of our council premises by the police are planning to storm the same council offices on Monday, May 6, 2013 with different shades of hoodlums and miscreants and then unleash violence and mayhem on the good people of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area. Their plan is to start from outside the council secretariat.”

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