The police in Ekiti State on Friday repelled alleged plot by some individuals to set the state House of Assembly in the capital city ablaze.
Sources said that some men allegedly scaled the fence of the Assembly at about 4am in a bid to burn it down but some operatives of the police Rapid Response Squad were on duty at the scene.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the Friday attempted attack, said hoodlums numbering 10, carrying two 25-litre kegs of petrol, had allegedly arrived the Assembly around 4am and made efforts to set it ablaze.
Abutu said, “I can confirm to you that the hoodlums carrying two kegs filled with petrol and also armed with cutlasses and other weapons came to burn down the Assembly at the wee hours of today (Friday).
“They thought that police, deployed to the Assembly since Wednesday had left the place, because our patrol vehicles had been withdrawn from the two gates. They thought the place was no longer under security cover. They came through a section of the complex, but they were resisted.
“The operatives of the RRS gave them a hot chase into the bush and recovered two kegs filled with petrol from them, among other dangerous exhibits. We want to warn our people not to turn the Assembly into a theatre of war.
“It is an arm of government that must be respected, so people should desist from creating unnecessary crisis. Let me also said that our men and officers are on ground to repel any dangerous moves being made by mischief makers to spark up trouble in any part of the state.”
Abutu, who said that the police had not arrested anyone in connection with the attempted arson attack, however, revealed that the law enforcement agents were on their trail.
The Assembly had since Wednesday been taken over by the police following alleged plot by some individuals to invade the complex a day after the former Leader of Government Business, Gboyega Aribisogan, defeated Olubunmi Adelugba to become Speaker to succeed the erstwhile Speaker, Funminiyi Afuye, who died on October 19.
The Police Commissioner, Moronkeji Adesina, had drafted men of the police to the Assembly and shut down the place to prevent breakdown of law and order just as staff of the legislative body were asked to vacate the complex to prevent being caught unawares.