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Warring Plateau lawmakers shun CP’s peace meeting

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Members of the Plateau State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, shunned a peace meeting called by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Bartholomew Onyeka, following the leadership crisis rocking the state legislature.

It would be recalled that the Police High Command had last week  sealed the House of Assembly complex and barred lawmakers from using the facility.

Since then, both factions have continued to lay claim to the leadership of the House, a development which has been causing tension in the state.

It was learnt that the police commissioner summoned the meeting with the lawmakers so as to find an amicable way of resolving the impasse to prevent further breakdown of law and order.

However, the lawmakers did not attend the meeting scheduled to take place at the police command headquarters in Jos Tuesday.

Briefing journalists on the Assembly crisis at the police headquarters, the Commissioner of Police, Onyeka, expressed disappointment that the crucial meeting was boycotted by the lawmakers. Related News

The CP said, “Today, we all agreed that we would meet here in continuation of the previous discussion we have had, but to my greatest surprise, only two or three people (lawmakers) came. We don’t know where the rest have gone.”

The CP said the Assembly complex would remain sealed until further notice.

He said, “Nobody should be allowed to trespass into the state House of  Assembly because information as to threats is still mounting on a daily basis. Today, we are receiving information that this will happen; and that will happen. So, it will be out of place to withdraw police from there.”

But when contacted,the lawmaker representing Riyom state constituency, Timothy Dantong, said his colleagues shunned the meeting because the state CP was not neutral in the leadership crisis between the two factions.

Dantong said, “The Commissioner of Police asked us that if we (Abok Ayuba group) claim to be in the majority in the House and if we wanted the Assembly complex to be opened for us to continue with our legislative business, that we should write our names and sign, which we did. Out of 22 persons (lawmakers) that attended that meeting,15 of them were on our side and signed.

“But when the Commissioner of Police saw the list, he changed his mind. So, we believe he has taken sides  because since he came to Plateau State he has continued to take actions against the interest of the people. They brought him to Plateau because of the problem we are having in the Assembly and his first assignment was to have a meeting with us when Abok Ayuba was illegally impeached in 2021 and he said to us that he was not going to allow any of the factions use the Assembly until the leadership crisis was resolved. But surprisingly, he turned round and opened the Assembly for the other group to use.

“Now, he has again sealed the Assembly even when a court has reinstated Ayuba as the Speaker of the state Assembly. We want Plateau people to know that the Commissioner of Police in the state has taken sides in the state Assembly dispute and he is working against democratic practice in Plateau.”

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