The onslaught on Edo legislative quarters – Tribune

By The Citizen

We are aware of the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly in terms of rival claims to leadership and legitimacy among the members and it is regrettable that a legislative House would have problems organising itself and ensuring that its business of making laws is not disrupted.

However, not even this regrettable development would excuse or explain the latest round of violence visited on the legislators by thugs and hoodlums who invaded their quarters to unleash mayhem several days back. It was reported that over 40 vehicles and many other valuables were damaged at the quarters during the invasion. And this was in spite of the background of a prior attack on Honourable Abdul Rasaq Momoh which should have sensitised the police to providing adequate security for the legislators and their quarters. It would remain a mystery why the police would leave the Legislators' Quarters unguarded in such a way that hoodlums could have a free rein to unleash violence and destruction.

Expectedly, there have been accusations and counter-accusations in the wake of the mayhem. The Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, while visiting the quarters after the attack suggested that it must be the handiwork of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agents in the state as the opposition political party, according to him, had been in the forefront of hatching plans to destabilise the state. The PDP in the state, however, accused Governor Oshiomhole and his government as the ones harbouring thugs who could have perpetrated the mayhem.

Our reading is that the two sides would not be quick to distance themselves from the mayhem if not for the general recognition and acceptance that what took place at the Legislators' Quarters was unacceptable. We believe that the police should build on this mutual condemnation of the attack to conduct thorough investigation into the incident and ensure that all those involved are exposed and identified for proper punishment.

The police should strive to rebuild their image by getting to the roots of this incident and show that they are not party to vandalisation and would not allow miscreants to take over the state. The police, particularly, have a duty to maintain law and order while the incident, without anybody preventing or stopping it, calls into question the effectiveness of the police in this matter. This is the time therefore, for the police to stand up to be counted and effectively act to stop the brigandage threatening to take over Edo State.

Politicians also owe the responsibility of preventing the state from being turned into a theatre of unrest and violence. Political competition should not be an excuse for reckless behaviour. The people of Edo State deserve to have good governance, orderliness and a general atmosphere of peace. This is what they expect from politicians jostling to lead them and not a recourse to violence and brigandage.

We call on politicians in Edo State to work together with the police and other security agencies to have a return to normalcy. The leadership of the state House of Assembly has already pledged to help the police have unfettered investigations and we expect other politicians to lend their support to this gesture. Evidently, the politicians in the state all have to mend their ways and show more interest in working for peace. We expect all in the state to assist politicians and security agencies in achieving these goals even as those behind the attack are brought to book.