There is palpable tension in Akwa Ibom State as more than 500 security personnel drawn from the Department of State Services (DSS), the Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) have cordoned off the State House of Assembly Complex.
Apparently, the two major political parties in the state have picked the House of Assembly for a preliminary test of strength ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday alleged that there was a plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to take over the house with the aid of security operatives and unleash an impeachment plot against the state governor, Emmanuel Udom.
Also, the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ini Ememobong accused the APC of plotting to use the new Commissioner of Police posted to the state to either return some sacked lawmakers or lock down the complex.
On its part, the APC claimed the Speaker of the House, Hon. Onofiok Luke breached the law by declaring the seats of five PDP members who crossed to the ruling party vacant.
One of the defectors, Mr. Nse Ntuen, has since been ‘appointed’ Speaker by his co-defectors, a move the Assembly leadership dismissed as laughable.
Responding to the development, the PDP issued a statement through its national spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan claiming that the action was part of a plot to forcefully take over control of the Akwa Ibom State legislature.
“The people of Akwa Ibom will never allow anybody, no matter how highly placed to overrun their state or in any way attempt to foist an undemocratic leadership over them and no amount of intimidation or force will make them change this resolve.
“The attempt by the APC to use security forces to convert their political minuses to an advantage is the surest means of instigating crises in Nigeria’s most peaceful state, Akwa Ibom. We hereby advise the new commissioner to note and understand that he is not and cannot become a court of law,” the statement added.
The Senate has however resolved to investigate the action of the security agencies by mandating its Committee on Police Affairs to probe the deployment and report back to the chamber within 48 hours.
The resolution followed the adoption of Point of Order 42 and 52 moved by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom) who told the Chamber that the sealing off of the Assembly constituted a threat to democracy in Nigeria.