The Adamawa police command has sealed up the Yola North local government council secretariat due to the long leadership tussle between the executive chairman and vice chairman of the council explaining that the action is in order to ensure absolute maintenance of law and order.
The police said that it had to take drastic action to avert crisis between two factional local government chairman and the vice chairman of the local council area.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Adamawa state, Mr. Othman Abubakar, told journalists in Yola on Thursday that the crisis was becoming more tense and chaotic due to the utterances of the supporters of the warring parties.
He stated that if the crisis is allowed to continue, it may snowball to a huge magnitude that can consume the entire local government area.
“This action became necessary for us (police) to maintain law and order to avoid destruction of government properties.
“The police will not side any of the warring parties and the outcome of the court litigation shall determine who returns to the chairman’s office,” Abubakar stated.
He therefore appeal to the parties involved to be law abiding and to ensure their supporters do not take laws in to their hands urging them to sheath their swords for peace to rein.
The feud between the two council factional leaders has been lingering for a while now, but the situation has now assumed an uncontrollable dimension as the side of the chairman feels betrayed by the vice chairman, Mr. George Raphael, who they accused of reading the script of external forces thereby making the council ungovernable.
Already, the gates of the secretariat have been under lock and key with heavy anti-riot police detachment keeping vigil for any possible intruder.
Our investigations revealed that the vice chairman, Mr. Raphael and his group were allowed entry in to the secretariat on Wednesday despite the presence of security operatives at the secretariat.
The embattled chairman, Mahmood Abbas’ faction sensing what is happening Thursday morning stormed the local government secretariat with his supporters and forcing they way in to the secretariat disregarding police order by the gate.
The two sides are reported to be flexing mussels and the situation might degenerate into full blown crisis if not nib in the bud in time.
Addressing his supporters at the premises of the council, Abbas described the development of whereby his vice and his supporters were allowed into the secretariat on Wednesday as disappointing and disturbing.
Abbas said the court verdict is what everyone is waiting for to settle the matter once and for all lamenting that any move to allow the other group to use the secretariat will be opposed vehemently.
Political pundits in the state observed that the crisis is destroying the council administratively as most of other councils in the state are providing dividends of democracy to their electorate but reverse is the case in Yola North.
Tom Garba Yola