APC, thugs disrupt presentation of Ondo Budget

The crisis rocking the Ondo State House of Assembly, on Wednesday took a new twist as aggrieved lawmakers opposed to the embattled Speaker, Hon. Jumoke Akindele, occupied the House of Assembly complex keeping vigil

The 13 aggrieved lawmakers who resumed at the House of Assembly complex as early as 6am waited for the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, who was billed to present the 2017 appropriation bill before the state Assembly.

The lawmakers who took various positions at the floor of the House waited endlessly for the arrival of the governor got tired and started sleeping on the floor of the House.

It was gathered that the aggrieved lawmakers took their breakfast on the floor of the house while they also ordered for their lunch while the session could not hold.

The lawmakers loyal to the embattled Speaker however kept away from the floor apparently to avoid clash with the aggrieved lawmakers who vowed not to rescind on the decision.

The lawmakers after waiting till 4pm without any news from the governor decided to hold session without the Clerk of the House, Bode Adeyelu, while the mace was also missing, before adjourning the sitting.

However, some protesters suspected to be sympathetic to the aggrieved lawmakers invaded the entrance of the State House of Assembly, vowing to stop the state governor from entering into the Assembly complex to present the budget with three weeks to end of his tenure.

The protesters in their hundreds and armed with placards harassed motorists at the Oda road axis of the capital city, while they prevented vehicles from entering into the Assembly complex.

The protest which was however hijacked by hoodlums saw the protesters screening and embarrassing journalists and motorists who visited the Assembly complex, while food and drinks were served to them by their sponsors.

One of the protesters, who spoke to newsmen at the Assembly entrance alleged the governor of lobbying the lawmakers to earn life pension from the resources of the state, saying they were protesting against an alleged move by the governor to send 38 bills to the state Assembly for passage into law.

One of the protesters said “We want to appeal to the governor to leave the state peacefully and not create burden on the incoming administration with his 2017 budget.”

There was heavy presence of security agents at the entrance of the assembly complex, to curtail the activities of the protesters while the state commissioner of police, Hilda Harrison was seen moving in and out of the premises to ensure that laws and order are maintained

A government official who spoke to Nigerian Tribune on condition of anonymity, said the governor decided to keep off the Assembly complex over the security report about the hoodlums.

He said the governor stay off in order to prevent the clash of the members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters who were present at the venue

He said it was apparent that the protesters were sponsored by member of the opposition saying “it is obvious that these aggrieved lawmakers are acting the scripts of their APC sponsor but Mimiko being a tolerant governor leader will not want this to degenerate into crisis

The state governor was scheduled to present the budget at about 12 noon at floor of the House

The Assembly was sealed off by the state police command following a leadership crisis that engulfed the House but it was opened on Wednesday for the governor to present the bill.

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