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Tension mounts as Police seal off Plateau State Assembly amid political standoff

Supporters of PDP and APC Gather Outside Assembly Complex Amid Uncertainty Over Lawmakers' Fate

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Police in Plateau State tightened security measures on Tuesday by cordoning off the road leading to the state House of Assembly within the Jos metropolis as supporters of rival political parties, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), kept vigil in front of the Assembly complex.

The move follows the uncertainty surrounding the fate of 16 PDP lawmakers who were sacked by the Court of Appeal, which declared APC candidates as the winners of the March 18, 2023, House of Assembly poll. This decision also affected Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, though his dismissal was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

As tensions simmered, police spokesman Alabo Alfred stated that the security measures were aimed at preventing any potential breakdown of law and order.

At the Assembly complex gate, supporters from both camps remained on guard. Mathew Danladi, representing the sacked PDP lawmakers, voiced concerns over alleged attempts by the yet-to-be-sworn-in APC members to forcibly enter the Assembly and impeach the Speaker and the governor.

Meanwhile, APC supporter Barnabas Dalyop criticized the Speaker’s reluctance to swear in the APC members following the Court of Appeal’s ruling, emphasizing the court’s authority in election petitions involving state and national assembly seats.

As the day progressed, neither the 16 sacked PDP lawmakers nor the APC members made an appearance at the Assembly complex. Instead, both factions convened separate meetings to strategize their next steps.

Timothy Dantong, one of the sacked PDP lawmakers, confirmed that discussions were ongoing, indicating the intense political atmosphere in Plateau State.

Amidst the uncertainty, the standoff underscores the deep-rooted political divisions and legal intricacies challenging the state’s legislative landscape.

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