Governor Ayodele Fayose, is obviously unsettled with reports of fresh plot to impeach him by the 19 All Progressives Lawmakers in the state whose tenure would end on Thursday, reports Peterclaver Egbochue
With just two days to the end of the tenure of members of the 7th Ekiti House of Assembly, speculations are rife that the 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers bent on removing Governor Ayodele Fayose, are not ready to sheath their sword. It was gathered on Monday that the lawmakers, who now have a strong ally in President Muhammadu Buhari, at the centre, threatened to forcefully regain access to the complex with the sole aim of impeaching Fayose.
According to reports, Governor Fayose had, upon receiving report of the plans of the lawmakers, mobolised his supporters to block some major entry points to the state – including the Iitawure-Efon-Ado Road – to frustrate the APC lawmakers and their supporters from gaining access to the state capital. In a live television broadcast Monday evening, Governor Fayose appealed to the people of the state to rise up against the 19 APC lawmakers bent on causing chaos in the state. “They have come again and you people should not allow them to spoil Ekiti State,” he enthused. Fayose appealed to various groups including the unions of motorcycle riders, and other organised pressure groups to rise against the lawmakers.
Governor Fayose and the APC lawmakers have been locked in a prolonged battle since Mr. Fayose’s re-election in 2014. The governor ejected the lawmakers from the state for months as they made moves to remove him. The governor had promised to pay the lawmakers owed salaries as part of moves to resolve the issues. The governor said on Monday that he had fulfilled his side of an agreement reached at a peace meeting held in Akure by paying the seven-months salaries of the lawmakers. According to him, the monies were paid in cheques as demanded by the lawmakers on May 26, 2015.
He said the decision of the lawmakers to still commence impeachment proceedings was an invitation to chaos, as the Ekiti people would resist it. He called the attention of the police and the Federal Government to the action of the lawmakers despite a Court order directing that the status quo be maintained. According to the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Idowu Adelusi, the presence of the security men around the Assembly complex was to ensure that the APC lawmakers were not allowed access into the complex in accordance with a court order earlier obtained by the governor. “There is a subsisting court order which says status quo should be maintained and that court order has not been vacated.
It is the duty of security operatives to ensure law and order and that is what they are doing,” he stated. He however, insisted that the “people” of the state were prepared to resist the lawmakers in order to protect the “their government.” However, the spokesman for the 19 lawmakers, Wole Olujobi, told newsmen in Ekiti on Monday that there was nothing illegal about their actions, which he said had the backing of the law. He described the report that they were making plans to force themselves into the assembly complex as false and baseless. His words, “There is nothing like forceful impeachment in Nigerian law. If impeachment offences are committed, a committee investigates the offender.
If he is not guilty, that is the end. If he is guilty, the law must take its course. “If condition exists that threatens their lives in doing so, they can legally seek police protection to enter their offices to do their jobs. What the APC lawmakers are doing is pure application of Nigerian law. There is nothing forceful about it.” Perhaps, against the lingering face-off between Fayose and the APC lawmakers, the former had reportedly approached President Muhammudu Buhari, to prevail on his party faithful and security agencies to in the state to refrain from engaging in any act capable of disrupting peace in the state.
Governor Fayose, on his part, called on President Buhari and Justice Mahmoud to call the 19 APC lawmakers to order. Fayose, who spoke with newsmen at the Governor’s Lodge over the tension elicited by the speculated move of the APC legislators, disclosed that all the entitlements of the APC lawmakers had been paid contrary to the claim of the Speaker, Hon. Adewale Omirin, that they were yet to be paid. The governor flaunted copies of the Skye Bank cheques dated May 26, 2015, issued to the lawmakers to corroborate his claim. One of the cheques, which bore the name Boluwade Bolie Kehinde, was received on behalf of the lawmaker and had a sum of N2,149,052 .37on it. His words, “They have been dropping the name of President Muhammadu Buhari, as giving them the backing to impeach me.
How can an assembly, whose tenure will wind up on Thursday be planning this? I wonder why the issue of the past should be allowed to come to play now? “As at the date the court gave the order, I mean April 23, Hon. Adewale Omirin, was not the speaker. It will be wrong for the court order not to be respected. This is illegality and I want to raise this for the public to know. “Omirin has gone to court to challenge his impeachment and later withdrew such, which means he accepted he had been impeached and a cost of N100, 000 was awarded against him. So, he is not the Speaker. I am calling on well-meaning Nigerians, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Mahmoud and President Muhammadu Buhari, to intervene in this matter.
“How can somebody be living in another state and planning to invade his state? This is something else and I view this as a major crime anyone can commit against his people.” Similarly, the immediate past Minister of State for Works, Dayo Adeyeye, has joined Fayose to appeal to Buhari, to call APC members in Ekiti to order so as to save the nation’s democracy. The minister, who was speaking against the backdrop of the heightened plot to impeach governor Fayose, said the lawmakers had become desperate to sack the governor through the backdoor. He maintained that the state lawmakers were capitalizing on the victory of Mr. Buhari to stoke crisis in the state and, therefore, advised them to stop behaving like bad losers.
His words, “In 1999, Prof Tunde Adeniran, of the PDP lost to Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Adeniran congratulated the winner. He did not go to court. It was in 2003 that Adebayo lost to Governor Ayodele Fayose, that they went to the Tribunal. “Also, when Segun Oni, won election in 2007, these same APC people made Ekiti ungovernable for him. In 2011 when Fayose contested senatorial election and lost to Babafemi Ojudu, he did not go to court. None of the PDP National Assembly candidates that lost in 2011 went to court. “Since they lost the governorship to the PDP nine months ago, they have refused to accept defeat. It was as a result of this desperation to steal Ekiti people’s mandate that Omolafe Aderiye, was killed.
Gen Buhari must not let these desperate APC members in Ekiti State drag his name and reputation in the mud by using his name to cause chaos”. Political watchers are of the view that the responsibility of maintaining peace and harmony in the state rests on both parties who should place the collective interest of the state higher and above personal and pecuniary interest.