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Plateau assembly crisis: Lawmakers urge President Buhari to intervene, save democracy

Embattled Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Abok Ayuba,and other members of the House loyal to him,have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the crisis bedeviling the assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Ayuba was on Oct. 27 impeached by 8 members of the assembly and elected Yakubu Sanda as the new Speaker.
But Ayuba and members of the house loyal to him held a session outside the assembly complex same day during which they suspended six of the members that impeached him, and declared him(Ayuba) as the authentic speaker of the house.
Gov. Simon Lalong had recognised Sanda as the new speaker of the assembly.
However, Ayuba and the lawmakers loyal to him gained access  to his office on Monday and were holding an executive session preparatory for a sitting when some youths staged a protest in front of the assembly complex in support of Ayuba.
Security personnel have been deployed to the assembly with the Commissioner of Police in the state, Edward Egbuka ,and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Commandant, Alexander Barunde supervising.
The lawmakers in a video recorded in the chamber of the assembly and made available to journalists, appealed to the president and Plateau elders to end what they called “the impunity and the siege on the assembly by security personnel”.
Mr Philip Dasun, the Deputy Majority Leader of the legislature,who is loyal to Ayuba ,said that Abok remained  the speaker of the assembly.
“Today the first of November 1, 2021, we the 12 members are supporting Abok Ayuba, the Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, that was duly elected by constitutional provision.
“As you can see his picture is still on the wall not tempered with, his name tag is still intact, the mace is still here to tell you that there was only an attempted impeachment, our speaker was not impeached, whatsoever.
“We are only calling for attention from the governor of this state, to disregard any illegal speaker presented to him and authorize the legitimacy of the speaker unanimously voted by 24 members of this assembly.
“We are not hear to fight, we are not here to cause conflict but calling on government to reinstate our speaker whom the Plateau people are well pleased with.
“We are calling on goverenment to reinstate our speaker, he has been firm, he has been dogged and he stood for the people of Plateau.
“For me,I consider him as Commander-In-Chief of formidable accomplishments in this 9th Assembly.
“We are calling on the President of Nigeria, we are here in the hallowed chamber, the chamber that is sacred to us, a chamber the president respects at the National Assembly, we expect the governor to respect this chamber.
“Please,Mr President, intervene and salvage democracy in Nigeria, gone were the days in 1999 when democracy returned, 20 years down the line, to what extent can we condone this impunity, to what extent can we condone this legislative rascality,” he said..
Dasun, who is also the Chairman,House Committee on Information and Communication,called on all well meaning Nigerians to intervene in the situation.
He thanked civil society organisations, youths, the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) and the Jama’atul  Nasri Islam(JNI) for their support.
“We learnt that you have been outside since morning to support us, we are happy with your actions,” he said.
Ayuba,who also spoke in the video said that they were in the hallowed chamber which he said was sacred, and that they would not accept any siege by security personnel.
The embattled speaker called on security agencies to respect the rule of law and respect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We are here, we are going to stay here until the Plateau elders come in and intervene in this illegality,” he said.

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