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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Thugs attack Benue assembly, lawmakers flee, cars damaged

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In a shocking turn of events, thugs have besieged the Benue House of Assembly, causing chaos and forcing lawmakers to flee for their safety. The incident occurred as some members were present to sign the last-minute bills sent by the State Government, which many had refused to endorse, leading to a boycott of the sitting.

According to an anonymous insider, believed to be a reliable source, the PDP-led government allegedly deployed these thugs to the assembly complex, where they resorted to threatening and intimidating the members.

Upon the arrival of the thugs, several Assembly members who held dissenting views with the Governor had no choice but to evacuate the complex to ensure their well-being. Tragically, the thugs took advantage of the situation and vandalized the lawmakers’ vehicles.

Terkaa Ucha, the representative of Tiev Constituency and Chairman of the House Committee on Education, spoke out about the incident in a telephone interview. Ucha revealed that he had to flee for his safety after receiving credible information that he and other members were targeted for physical harm by the thugs.

One of the contentious bills included the audited public accounts bill, along with a bill to amend the law for tertiary institutions, allowing the Governor to appoint rectors for all polytechnics following the expiration of their tenure. Additionally, the bill for the Governor’s pension retirement benefits was also part of the agenda.

Ucha emphasized that he had not presented these bills on the floor of the House, yet the thugs allegedly coerced his secretary to bring forward the bills without his consent. Despite not being signed, the bills were passed by the 17 out of 30 members who were manipulated into attending the session. Ucha distanced himself from the dubious proceedings and prioritized his safety.

Regarding the Governor’s Pension Bill, Ucha expressed skepticism, stating that it cannot be passed as the Governor is not viewed as pension-friendly. He further revealed that his secretary was compelled by the suspected thugs to provide photocopies of the bills for deliberation, as he was absent during the incident.

Reports indicate that the Benue State Government has promised to offer each member a sum of N80,000 to secure the passage of crucial bills, particularly the one concerning tertiary institutions, which would grant the Governor the authority to appoint rectors before the end of his tenure. However, Ucha claimed to be unaware of such developments, as he disapproves of participating in such manipulative acts.

Additionally, it has been revealed that some lawmakers who were present at the complex before the arrival of the alleged thugs had their vehicles vandalized. Moreover, a meeting was held on Thursday among 17 out of the 30 lawmakers to deliberate on five bills, including the bill concerning tertiary institutions.

As of now, rumors circulate that three vehicles carrying heavily armed security personnel have arrived at the complex and have been strategically positioned to ensure the safety of members who are present for the deliberations on the bills. The situation remains tense, and further updates are expected

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