The ongoing crisis in the Ondo State House of Assembly took another dimension on Thursday as some protesters attacked the convoy of the state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
The protesters smashed the side screens of the two of the vehicles in the governor’s convoy.
It took the timely intervention of the men of the state police command before the protesters were dispersed.
It was gathered that some of the protesters were also injured during the pandemonium.
The protesters, who started the protest on Wednesday, were protesting against the move by the governor to present the 2017 budget to the Assembly. Following the protest, the governor reportedly shifted the budget presentation, which was earlier scheduled to hold on Wednesday, to another day.
They alleged that the governor wanted to sponsor 38 bills and ensure that the bills were passed into law before his tenure expires on February 23, 2017.
The protesters vowed to prevent the governor from presenting the appropriation bill to the Assembly.
According to an eyewitness, immediately the protesters sighted the governor’s convoy on the House of Assembly road, some of them started throwing stones at the convoy.
However, the leader of the protesters and member of the executive of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Mr. Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, condemned the action of the police which dispersed the protesters.
He said, “We don’t know why there is this issue of sporadic shooting by the police in a peaceful protest; it is uncalled for, and we are calling on the Inspector-General of Police and well-meaning Nigerians and citizens of Ondo State to look into the matter.
“What we are protesting against is to tell our people that the governor is bringing a bill that will bring untold hardship on the people of the state. We are not violent with it.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Femi Joseph, who confirmed the attack on the governor’s convoy, explained that the police had to disperse the protesters when they appeared to be going violent.
He faulted allegations that the Commissioner of Police in the state was bias, saying the CP’s interest was to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in the state.
The PPRO added, “Some of them attacked the convoy of the governor, about two vehicles in the convoy were damaged by the protesters.
“We initially allowed them to protest peacefully. We also appealed to them to be peaceful but when they started barricading the road, throwing stones at the governor’s convoy and our men, we had to disperse them.”
As of the time of filing this report, teams of security agents from the police command, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as the men of the Department of State Services were deployed in the Assembly area after the protesters had been dispersed.
Meanwhile, two members of the House of Assembly may lose their seats as the Peoples Democratic Party was set to enforce the judgment of the Federal High Court, delivered by Justice Okon Abang on April 16, 2016.
The affected lawmakers are Mr. Olamide George representing Akure North Constituency and Mr. Iroju Ogundeji, representing Odigbo 1 Constituency.
According to the judgment, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent on Thursday, the court queried the emergence of the duo at the primaries of the PDP and ordered their immediate replacement by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
It was gathered that the judgment was not enforced due to the leadership crisis in the PDP, where two factions are laying claim to the leadership of the party.