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Renovation commences at Edo Assembly as speaker, others keep vigil

Renovation work has commenced on the main building of the Edo State House of Assembly hours after a police siege.

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The legislative complex was under siege by armed men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) earlier today. The personnel were allegedly stationed to provide cover for aggrieved lawmakers-elect of the assembly led by Yekini Idiaye who was impeached as deputy speaker yesterday.

Mr Idiaye was removed a day after he pledged loyalty to Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the September 19 election.

While the siege was on, Godwin Obaseki, the state governor and his deputy, Philip Shuaibu, stormed the complex with the aim of preventing the aggrieved lawmakers from gaining entrance into the premises.

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Mr Obaseki after arriving ordered the immediate commencement of work in the complex earlier scheduled for renovations. Moments later, truck loads of sands and gravels were tipped at the entrance of the assembly.

Minutes after that, the roof housing the legislative chamber had workers mount on it and began removing the roofing sheets.

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Meanwhile, the speaker of the house, Frank Okiye, says he and his colleagues have resorted to keeping vigil at the premises to forestall illegal entrance.

“We are going to keep vigil here to forestall the alleged illegal invasion of the house by anybody,” Mr Okiye told newsmen.

On his part, the governor said his administration will resist attempt to illegally take over the assembly complex.

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“Nigeria is governed by the constitution and President Muhammadu Buhari has always said we must follow the rules of law and do things according to the law,” the Edo helmsman said.

“For us as the executive, we will use the instrument available to us constitutionally to protect the house and the state,” he added.

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The governor seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the political rival of his predecessor and Adams Oshiomhole, who commands the loyalty of the aggrieved lawmakers.

Mr Oshiomhole, an erstwhile national chairman of the APC, had ensured his successor did not seek a second term in office using the party. This forced the governor to seek refuge in the PDP, dumping the APC on whose platform he became governor.

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