Emmanuel Ani, Ado-Ekiti
A civil society group, the Coalition of Civil Society for Equality and Justice (CCSEJ), has warned that the statements and actions of Governor Ayodele Fayose, are capable of destabilizing and derailing Nigeria’s democracy.
The group said Fayose must face justice over his alleged looting of Ekiti State Treasury.
The Coalition gave the warning in a statement jointly signed by Comrades Buna O. Isiak of Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA); Babalola Olaide, Center for Legislative Advocacy and Good Governance, and Olowo Rotimi of the Centre For Community Development.
The Coalition warned that Fayose’s verbal war and diatribe represent a stealthy political manoeuver and call for a coup d’etat capable of discrediting President Mohammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption agenda.
The group also accused some elements in the elitist class in Nigeria, in connivance with “certain interested individuals and political gladiators in the country” of trying to “precipitate a crisis of national proportion targeted at truncating our current democratic dispensation as the recent rumour of a coup d’état being investigated by the Military High Command has shown.”
The statement added: ‘‘The coalition is strongly of the opinion that a virile and constructive opposition is one of the ingredients of democracy and development, as well as a veritable means of ensuring good governance and accountability. However it must be conducted in a patriotic and constructive manner and also within the ambit of the rule of law.’’
While emphasising its support for the ‘’anti-corruption war of the Federal Government to retrieve all looted funds in order to re-engineer the growth of the country’’, the coalition pointed out that its ‘’attention is particularly directed at the activities of Mr. Ayodele Fayose (the Ekiti State Governor) who has chosen to do the hatchet job of discrediting the anti-corruption war alongside his sponsors behind the camera, with the aim of casting aspersion on the integrity of the President and heating up the polity as prelude for his cohorts in the military to strike.”
According to the Coalition, ‘’A critical assessment of the recent serial attacks by Ayodele Fayose against the Government of Muhammadu Buhari shows a deliberate script being acted to scuttle the anti-corruption crusade through the creation of sufficient distractions capable of destabilizing the programs and policies of the PMB administration. We have noted that the fear of the anti-corruption war has created an agglomeration of corrupt characters parading themselves as opposition that could only be described as artificial and fictitious. It is also not impossible that the desperation of these corrupt elements to destabilize the Government of P.M.B may not be unconnected with the recent rumour of a coup d’état.
’Fayose as a person lacks the moral integrity, the psychological balance as well as the mental cum intellectual wherewithal to push the agenda of sabotage beyond mere stirrings.”
The Coalition however said that it is ‘’perturbed about his ‘confidence’ which suggest that “he is not speaking only for himself but his co-travellers in the looting of public treasury, especially at this point in time when the anti-corruption war is directed at some of the top brass of the nation’s military.”
According to the group, ‘’We are aware that the plot is to colour the anti-corruption war with primordial, ethnic and party sentiment and provide an excuse for a section of Nigeria’s powerful elite caught in the war to truncate the democratic process. Let it be reiterated that any attempt from any quarters of the Nigerian elite (military or otherwise) to terminate our hard earned democracy will be resisted with novel methods which the civil society has already mapped out. Needless to say, any attempt in that direction will be stillborn.”
The group therefore warned Fayose and his cohorts against nurturing the ambition of seeing the anti-corruption war dead, advising him to cooperate with the anti-graft agencies in their investigation, if only to prove his innocence.
It explained further that Fayose’s attacks against persons and institutions that have shed light on the appropriateness of the freezing of his account are ‘unbecoming and odious’, noting that his verbal attack against Mr Femi Falana (SAN), is uncalled for.
“The grandstanding, and anarchistic approach of Fayose has raised credibility question about his opposition status. Fayose’s recklessness, desperation and primitive attacks against credible personalities like Barr. Femi Falana must be checked by popular forces. What is playing out is an agenda to precipitate a national crisis and create opportunity for corrupt military personnel to take out the government of Muhammadu Buhari as it happened in Egypt,’’ the Coalition said.