It was a stoning battle between political thugs loyal to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of State for Education, Nyeson Wike near Government House, Port Harcourt, and the State Assembly complex despite the presence of security operatives at both political institutions.
As 247ureports.com gathered, it was a continuation of the fight that took place a day earlier when the lawmakers supporting the Governor and the Minister clashed on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly, resulting to three lawmakers sustaining injuries, despite the stationing of an armored personnel carrier in front of Government House by a team of soldiers, naval and police officers, the thugs still had their way to secure its premises forcing the road to be deserted.
The situation of the injured lawmaker representing Obio/Akpor Constituency II in the Rivers Assembly, Hon. Micheal Chinda has deteriorated, a source said, noting that there were plans to fly him abroad for treatment. “He was hit on the head with the mace by the leader of the House, Hon. Chidi Lloyd. He is in critical condition and could be taken abroad for treatment,” the source said.
Soldiers had sealed off the entrance of the Assembly complex in case of opposing lawmakers to control the House in anticipation of a likely breakdown of law and other, making them to also patrol the key link roads that lead to the complex and the nearby Government House.
Amaechi and his deputy, Engr. Tele Ikuru had narrowly escaped a mob attack.
Some of the thugs, mostly youths clad in jeans and T-shirts had stormed Moscow Road where the Assembly complex lays as early as 4.am. to protest the beating of Hon. Chinda, a pro Wike lawmaker who according to a source was being considered to be flown abroad for treatment as at press time..
Thugs believed to be loyal to the Governor were also said to have came to show
support to the lawmakers that have stood solidly behind him despite pressure to impeach him.
Trouble started when the thugs started shouting abuses at each other, and followed it up with stones. Some of the thugs were stationed at the other end Moscow Road, while others stood at corners along the major roads.
Following reports that the Senate has taken a decision to take over the Rivers State House of Assembly and ordered the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, due to the present crisis rocking it, the state police command has said that only the Inspector General of Police has the right to order the CP’s redeployment.
The command’s PPRO, Stella Agabe, who stated this while reacting to reports that the CP has been redeployed by the Senate, said that it was a mere discussion on the floor of the Senate. “It was a discussion on the floor of the Senate, and not a resolution. The Senate is not the Inbspector General of Police,” she said.
Meanwhile, Agabe, also spoke on the announcement last week by the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Wogu Boms that the police lacks the right to ban public protests, noting that the police ban on protests remain.
“The law against public protest in the state is still in force and the police will not hesitate to use minimum force to disperse defaulter,” Agabe said.
She also noted that the command was informed by the clerk of the assembly of Wednesday’s planned plenary, pointing out that the police had to intervene and seal the premises when it felt there could be a breach of the peace.
Agabe informed that security operatives initially ordered passers-by to raise their hands because of the large crowd that gathered there as they did not want hoodlums to smuggle arms into the place.
In a related development, the Senator representing Rivers South-East in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe has commended the timely intervention of the Federal House of Representatives in the political crisis rocking the state.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) alleged that a situation “where democratic institutions are abused and crippled by agencies established to protect democracy portends danger at the tunnel,”
He said the unanimous position of members during the debate on Rivers Assembly crisis rekindle their commitment against undemocratic tendencies that was now creeping into our national polity.
He said: “We are all committed stakeholders in the Nigerian project, nobody can claim to love Nigeria more than another, we all have children that look-up to our generation, we should not allow few individuals to destroy the future of our country” he declared.
He noted that posterity will remember the lawmakers for their position at a time democracy was being tested; adding that today is Rivers tomorrow might be another.
He urged other democratic institutions in the country not to sit and watch Nigeria’s hard earned democracy thrown to the wind on the altar of political interest.