BY SAM EGWU, Lokoja
There was pandemonium in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, yesterday as hundreds of thugs invaded the state House of Assembly, chased out lawmakers and vandalised the hallowed chamber.
This is coming just as the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has ordered security agencies in the State to conduct a full scale investigation on the incident and arrest perpetrators of the act.
Armed policemen, Civil defence officers and DSS operatives stationed at Kogi State Assembly Complex yesterday looked helpless as the lawmakers scampered out of their chamber and running helter skelter for safety.
As soon as the House convened for its plenary, the suspected thugs numbering over 100 arrived the Assembly complex in three Hilux vans, wentvstraight into the chamber and started beating the honourable members.
They chased lawmakers and journalists at the presd gallery out of the chambers, even as security aides to the Speaker, Umar Ahmed Imam, rushed him out.
Journalists who were observing proceedings if the plenary from the gallery took off, with some of them scaling the fence of the Assembly complex.
The member representing Igalamela/Odolu constituency, Hon Friday Sani, was beaten to coma by the thugs who brutalised and tore his clothes to shreds.
He was later whisked away to an unknown destination while security operatives looked helplessly.
The Speaker of the House, Umar Imam, who later addressed journalists said that security operatives stood helpless and were unable to save the situation, stressing that he drew the attention of the commissioner of police, Mr Inalegwu, to the invasion by the thugs.
Reacting to the incident, Governor Bello condemned the invasion of the state legislature, vowing that the culprits and those behind them must be brought to book.
Warning that his administration will not condone any act of thuggery, the governor said anyone found culpable will be made to face the full weight of law.
Bello who spoke through his director general, media and publicity, Evangelist Kingsley Fanwo, ordered his security adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara (retd), to liaise with security operatives to ensure perpetrators of the act are brought to book.
He described the incident as the handiwork of those who are bent on formenting trouble in order to frustrate good governance and development in the state.
He added that peace is what is required to move the state forward, pointing out that development can only thrive in the atmoshere of peace.
Earlier, the Kogi State Police commissioner, Wilson Inalegwu, who spoke with journalists at the Assembly premises assured that he was on ground to ensure there was no breach of law.