Nigeria: PDP Supporters Picket Plateau Assembly to Stop APC Lawmakers’ Entrance

Jos — Supporters of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State yesterday staged a protest at the state assembly to halt the reported plan to swear in 16 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP) who were declared winners of the state assembly elections held on March 18, 2023.

Daily Trust reports that the assembly has not convened for a session in over five weeks, remaining inactive since January 24th after a plenary session. Allegations from the APC suggest that Speaker Gabriel Dewan has been following the directives of the state governor, Caleb Mutfwang, a PDP member, by unlawfully closing down the house and refusing to swear in the new members.

PDP supporters, who gathered in large numbers at the assembly complex, claimed that if the new 16 members were sworn in, they would likely move to impeach Speaker Dewan, who is the sole member of the Young Progressive Congress (YPP) in the house.

Youths, identifying as supporters of the 16 sacked PDP lawmakers, stated that they had been at the complex since Monday night to prevent any actions by the APC.

One of the protesters, Mathew Danladi, expressed concern over alleged attempts by the yet-to-be-sworn-in APC lawmakers to impeach the Speaker.

He emphasized their determination to resist any unlawful actions and uphold the rule of law, citing ongoing legal proceedings concerning the disputed assembly seats.

“We have been here since last night till this Tuesday morning because we learned that the APC members who were yet to be sworn in as state lawmakers following the controversial court of appeal judgment want to enter the state Assembly and impeach the Speaker,” Danladi said.

“The 16 PDP lawmakers who were unjustly removed by the court of appeal are presently in court over the matter. I think the APC in Plateau State does not want peace because they are aware of the Supreme Court’s judgment over the matter,” he added.

‘Police take over assembly complex to maintain order’

Meanwhile, the State Police Command has deployed officers to cordon off the road leading to the State House of Assembly complex, following the tension created by the convergence of angry youths.

Police personnel were stationed at strategic locations around the assembly complex in readiness for any unforeseen circumstances.

The spokesperson of the command, DSP Alabo Alfred, said the move to cordon the assembly was aimed at preventing a potential breakdown of law and order, calling on people in the state to live peacefully with one another.

As of the time of filing this report, none of the sacked PDP lawmakers or APC lawmakers had agreed to respond to the developments.

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