By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—The crisis rocking the Kogi State House of Assembly took a new twist yesterday when soldiers escorted the minority lawmakers (G5 caucus) to the Assembly complex for its sitting.
The G5 group, at its sitting last week Tuesday had adjourned till yesterday; the same day the G15 who gained entrance to the complex fixed last Thursday for its next sitting.
The state commissioner of police, Yakubu Usman sensing trouble had called the two factions together asking them not to come close to the complex as he would seal off the premises to avoid trouble.
But the majority Leader of the G5 group, Friday Sani had on Monday took a tour of the assembly complex alongside some security men, where he told newsmen about alleged ‘desecration of chamber by the G15 “ and that his group would sit the following day (yesterday).
True to the Police Commissioner’s words, the assembly complex was barricaded up to the point where the G15 were turned back last week.
But the G5-led caucus led by Umar Imam returned alongside some soldiers said to be “Army ‘attachees” who engaged the policemen in a heated argument and later cleared the way for the G5 to gain entrance.
The soldiers also prevented journalists from entering the premises, besides those who had gained entrance before their arrival and those in the convoy of the G5 Speaker.
The G5 latter sat, moved some motions, and the factional Speaker, Umar Imam called on the constituents of the respective G15 members to “recall their representative for allegedly ‘desecrating’ the chamber of the assembly in their last week Thursday sitting and elect ‘better’ hand to represent them.’.
Responding, the G15 group alleged assassination attempt on their lives and accused the governor of mobilizing soldiers to protect the G5 members.
Majority leader of the House, Kolawole Matthew, who spoke while briefing newsmen, said the Army from the Megumeri Lokoja Command led by one Colonel Usman Fwere, who was summoned to the government House, and asked to protect the G5 members.
He claimed the governor had in the morning ordered all staff of the assembly to return home for safety in order not to be affected by the attack that might occur.
Kola also claimed some security men stormed the Assembly quarters twice in the early hour of yesterday shooting sporadically in the air and attempted to assassinate some of the G15 members.
The G15 press briefing was held under a tree where they camped for fear of being attacked at home. They displayed some remnants of bullet pellets picked after the shooting.
They alleged that the attack was done by the security men who drove in vehicles bearing state government number.
However, the state governor had denied involvement.
The Governor who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Kingsley Fanwo said, only the President of the country could summon or draft the Army, wondering why the governor could be ascribed such power, “The constitution of Nigeria put into perspective who can order the military. Only the President can do that. Governor Bello is a democrat and not a dictator, nor sponsor or promoter of impunity. So the governor should be dissociated from such security intervention.”