- Hoodlums Stop Ondo Budget Presentation
The political stalemate in Ondo State House of Assembly deepened yesterday making the 2017 budget expected to be presented to members by the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko not to hold.
The governor boycotted the Assembly following a security report on plans by the opposition All Progressive Party, APC, to disrupt the presentation.
Suspected APC members and some miscreants protested against the presentation which was coming barely three weeks to expiration of Mimiko’s tenure.
The protesters said they were out to prevent the presentation of the budget and the passage of a bill on the payment of pension to past governors and their deputies aimed at putting financial burden on the incoming administration.
They blocked the road leading to the Assembly complex frisking visitors.
Policemen deployed to the Assembly watched the miscreants as they embarrassed newsmen and harassed those that came for the presentation.
The protesters arrived the Assembly with the 13 aggrieved lawmakers as early as 6 am.
They were served both breakfast and lunch in the open by chieftains of the opposition APC in the state.
The leader of protesters, Mr. Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye who spoke with newsmen at the Assembly entrance alleged that Governor Mimiko was lobbying the lawmakers to earn life pension from the resources of the state.
Ogunleye said: “We want to appeal to the governor to leave the state peacefully and not create burden for the incoming administration with his 2017 budget.”
Also, pandemonium reigned in the chambers of the Assembly yesterday as the aggrieved lawmakers literally turned the floor into their living room as they waited for the governor.
They equally took both breakfast and lunch on the floor of the assembly.
After waiting till 3pm, they improvised, using the national flag for the mace, while one of them acted as the sergeant at arms.
The clerk of the Assembly, Bode Adeyelu and other workers were absent yesterday. The sacked speaker, Jumoke Akindele and 12 others in her faction also failed to show up.
Yesterday’s developments were not unconnected to the leadership crisis which engulfed the assembly last Friday which led to the sack of the principal officers over alleged N15 million fraud.
Meantime, the PDP in the state has condemned what it described as the “needless crisis in the Assembly.”
It’s Director of Publicity Ayo Fadaka in a statement in Akure said that “the PDP has taken due cognizance of the needless crisis in the House of Assembly and as such wishes to state very clearly that it takes absolute exceptions to this development.
The party also said it will continue to recognize Jumoke Akindele as Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly.
It also said it recognises all other principal officers of the House of the Assembly as legitimately elected officers.