There was tension in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday as the 19 All Progressives Congress lawmakers stormed the Ekiti State House of Assembly to resume legislative duties.
Their return caught workers and the seven Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers loyal to Governor Ayodele Fayose unawares and created tension as officials of the Assembly hurriedly vacated their offices.
The return of the lawmakers followed Tuesday’s directive by the state secretariat of the APC asking them to resume legislative duties.
But over 100 soldiers and police operatives promptly took over the Assembly to maintain peace while the Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, ordered its immediate closure.
The 19 APC lawmakers had been on self-exile since November 20, 2014 when the seven PDP lawmakers impeached the Speaker, Dr. Adewale Omirin and his deputy, Tunji Orisalade.
Mr. Dele Olugbemi, an ally of the governor was installed as the Speaker by the faction and had been presiding over the Assembly.
Those that returned to the Assembly on Wednesday with Omirin include Orisalade, Mrs. Wunmi Ogunlola, Mr. Ade Ajayi and Gbenga Odebunmi.
The Omirin-led lawmakers arrived at the Assembly in a convoy of 14 vehicles at around 12noon and hurriedly went into parliamentary session which started with praise and worship, as well as prayer said by Mr. Folorunso Ogundele, representing Efon constituency.
The session lasted for 10 minutes and the lawmakers emerged from the Assembly and briefed the pressmen, who had patiently been waiting outside.
Omirin, who spoke on behalf of members, said that they were in the assembly to begin their legislative duty.
As they emerged from the Assembly, some of them chanted ‘Sai Buhari Sai Baba’ – the political slogan of the president-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Omirin described Olugbemi as an impostor, saying he had come to take his rightful place.
“Why are you surprised that we are here? I don’t expect you to express surprise that we are in our offices because we were duly elected as members of the state House of Assembly.
“This is my office and I shouldn’t be asked why I am here. Though we have instituted a case against the seven lawmakers for the fake impeachment against me, but that would not prevent us from doing what we are supposed to do,” Omirin stated.
When asked whether Buhari’s victory prompted their action, Omirin said “No, that is not true. It is just a mere coincidence. Don’t forget, the fact that I have not been here since November does not mean I have not been performing my duties. So, whether Buhari is declared winner or not, we have to do our work.
“I have been attending Speakers’ meetings in Abuja and attending to my people in my constituency, so we haven’t abdicated our duties.”
Efforts made by Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in Ekiti State to pacify the APC lawmakers not to reconvene fell on deaf ears, as the lawmakers engaged him in a verbal war and told him that they needed not to take any permission from the police before holding their session.
When the factional speaker, Olugbemi emerged from the Assembly, he criticised the Police Commissioner for closing down the Assembly.
“Mr. CP, I don’t think it was right to have closed down the Assembly. We have the capacity to contain the APC lawmakers. We are ready to meet them fire for fire.”
But the CP said he took the action to prevent violence in the state, saying the police must be proactive to prevent Ekiti from being plunged into crisis