In a proactive move to save the neck of outgoing governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, the state command of the police for on Wednesday prevented members of the Niger State House of Assembly from sitting.
The police in its reaction to the tension generated by the action stated that those who attempted to gain entry into the assembly complex were non-members.
The lawmakers that were prevented from entering the Assembly were led by the new Speaker, Alhaji Isah Kawu and had gone for a sitting but found the entrance barricaded by police personnel.
Spokesman for the command, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, said that the police were there to prevent a breakdown of law and order, adding “The police are doing their job of protecting lives and properties. Those who claimed to be members of the House are not members.
“Police cannot allow properties of the House to be damaged that is why they stopped people from accessing the building,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Kawu faulted the police, saying that they had no right to prevent members from sitting.
“We were prevented by the police from entering the House. Why will the speaker and members be disallowed from sitting? Police do not have the right to stop legislators from sitting; why will the Commissioner of Police draft his men to the legislative arm of government in the absence of trouble.
“We are planning a transition, what is the essence of democracy if handing over to elected persons was not necessary,” he queried.
The Assembly had already impeached the speaker, Barrister Usman Adamu, and three other principal officers as a precursor to impeaching the governor himself.
They are set to serve him (the governor) impeachment proceedings but 19 members of the 27-member House had impeached the speaker and his deputy, Abdulraman Gmbo, and in a unanimous vote elected Hon Isah Kawu as the new speaker.
The House also elected Ahmed Bello of Agwara constituency as the new deputy speaker, Yusuf Kure of Paiko as the majority leader and Saudatu Kolo of Mashegu constitution as the new chief whip.