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Akwa Ibom Assembly Turns Battle Ground



Violence ensued on Tuesday at the sitting of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly as five All Progressives Congress lawmakers attempted to impeach the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel.

 The five lawmakers were the ones whose seats were recently declared vacant by the Speaker of the House, Onofiok Luke. They include Nse Ntuen, representing Essien Udim State Constituency; Gabriel Toby (Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency) and Idongesit Ituen, (Itu State Constituency).

 Others are Otobong Ndem (Mkpat Enin State Constituency) and Victor Udofia representing Ikono State Constituency.

 It was gathered that they arrived early at the Assembly complex with thugs and heavily armed policemen and an improvised mace to commence the impeachment proceedings against the governor.

 They chased out everyone around and manhandled the Press Secretary to the Speaker, Kufre Okon, who came early in the morning, before making their way to the assembly.

 Although the aim of the five APC lawmakers’ gathering at the Assembly early in the morning was not made public, sources close to the affected lawmakers said they allegedly met to impeach the Speaker, Onofiok Luke, and  Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.

 “Their main mission is to impeach the speaker and commence the impeachment proceedings against the governor,” the source said.

 It was gathered that they shut all doors before commencing the impeachment process which lasted just for very few minutes.

 Trouble began at about 10.05am when the state Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen, arrived on the premises of the Assembly complex. He was harassed by the five APC lawmakers who swooped on him and repeatedly banged on his vehicle, asking him to leave the Assembly for them.

 The Udom’s arrival few minutes later worsened the situation as the there was a clash between his loyalists and the supporters of the five lawmakers.

 In the ensuing confusion, gunshots were fired by security personnel to scare away people.  Journalists and Assembly workers who turned up early that morning and other visitors scampered to safety, some jumped over the walls, while others took cover in the surrounding bush.

 Ntuen and other APC members who had earlier in the morning sat with the four other sacked lawmakers were harassed by security personnel in front of the Assembly and they later escaped when the heat became severe.

 Ntuen’s vehicle was damaged by the rampaging youths even as he escaped being mobbed by supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party and security personnel.

 Also, a Toyota Camry car said to belong to an APC supporter was set ablaze near the premises of the Assembly complex.

 The speaker, Luke, in an interview with journalists, said, “Let nobody, party think they can intimidate us in Akwa Ibom State.

 “The people of Akwa Ibom have shown solidarity as seen in what happened today. We will continue to stand with our governor. We will continue to make laws for the economic development of the state and for the betterment of the youth of the state.”

 When contacted, the factional Speaker, Nse Ntuen, who said he was speaking from his sick bed, said he would address the press on Wednesday to tell the whole world how he and the five All Progressives Congress lawmakers were beaten and thrown out of the Assembly complex by PDP thugs.