Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose during a victory rally in Ado Ekiti today after the Supreme Court had affirmed his election
By Leke Adeseri, South West Regional Editor & Gbenga Ariyibi
Ado Ekiti — There appears to be no end in sight to the current face-off between the 19 All Progressives Congress, APC, lawmakers in the Ekiti State House of Assembly and Governor Ayo Fayose.
Some 20 minutes after leaving a church service where the clergyman advised the governor to embrace peace by reconciling with APC lawmakers, Gov. Fayose made a live broadcast on the Ekiti State Radio and Television, ESRT, where he told Ekiti people to defend their mandate from the APC lawmakers, who he claimed were coming to invade the state to impeach him today.
But the lawmakers are insisting on going ahead with Fayose and his deputy, Dr Kolapo Olusola’s removal.
This is coming barely 48 hours after Fayose promised to dialogue with the aggrieved lawmakers.
To ensure that the APC lawmakers would not achieve their motive, the Okada riders association and the commercial transport workers operating in the state are toeing the path of the governor by telling their members to converge on the premises of the state House of Assembly today at 6 a.m and defend the mandate freely given to Fayose and his deputy during the June 21, 2014 governorship election.
During the governor’s live broadcast on the ESRT, he told the people to defend their mandate from the invading APC lawmakers and defend him against the alleged impeachment.
He urged drivers and Okada riders in particular to move out en-masse to defend his mandate, saying: “My mandate is your mandate and you must defend it.”
Okada riders, NURTW mobilise members
Barely 10 minutes after, two statements emerged on the state radio as public announcements that were being broadcast intermittently.
Below are the transcripts of the two statements from the drivers union and Okada riders association.
“All Okada riders in Ekiti State are enjoined to be on the look-out for strange faces in the state from tomorrow. This is because it has been gathered that APC lawmakers working with Dr Adewale Omirin are planning to truncate the peace of the state by invading the state with armed thugs.
“All Okada riders in the state should be mobilised to the House of Assembly by 6 a.m tomorrow. Governor Fayose’s mandate is the mandate of Okada riders. We must defend it with the last drop of our blood.” Signed: Niyi Dahunsi, Chairman, Okada Riders Association.
In another announcement, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, through its chairman, Clement Adekola said: “Information available to us is that the APC lawmakers are planning to invade the state with lorry-loads of thugs recruited from Lagos and Osun states tomorrow.
“The APC lawmakers have vowed to kill anyone that stands on their way to achieving the plot of impeaching Governor Fayose and his Deputy, Dr Kolapo Olusola.
“We, therefore, alert all members of our union to be on the look-out from tomorrow. All drivers unions members should be prepared to defend the mandate freely given to Governor Fayose.
“Our members should monitor movement of vehicles into Ekiti State from today so as to prevent invasion of thugs whose only intention is to kill our people. We gave our mandate to Fayose and we must be prepared to defend it.”
It was signed by Samuel Agbede, Chairman, Road Transport Workers Association of Nigeria and Clement Adekola, Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers.
Stop inciting Ekiti people, APC lawmakers tell Fayose
The 19 APC lawmakers in the Ekiti State House of Assembly in a reaction to yesterday’s broadcast by Governor Fayose, said the governor was never committed to peace.
A statement by Special Adviser on Media to Speaker Adewale Omirin, Wole Olujobi said the governor had in his broadcast demonstrated that he was never committed to the peace he preached barely 24 hours before his inciting broadcast.
The statement said: “How do you reconcile this inciting broadcast with a plea he made for peace not quite 24 hours earlier which Ekiti people and indeed Nigerians thought was a good move by the governor to thaw the frozen relationship between him and the lawmakers? This is a confirmation of what Omirin said in his Sunday Punch interview that the governor can’t be trusted in any peace move.”
Olujobi expressed regrets over failure of the governor to embrace the homily by the clergyman in his thanksgiving service where he was admonished to embrace peace with APC lawmakers by paying their entitlements and seek genuine reconciliation to move the state forward.
According to the statement, “it is shocking that the governor, who refused to make any remark or commitment during the church service after the man of God appealed to him to embrace peace, could go on air few minutes after the service to start inciting workers, traders, Okada riders and artisans to defend him with their last drop of blood.
“As if his live broadcast was not enough, Ekiti people were shocked when a public service announcement started running intermittently on the state media urging Okada riders to look out for strange faces across the state and attack them because they are thugs that are being imported by APC lawmakers.
“They are also to converge on the House of Assembly as early as 6 a.m today to prevent the lawmakers from performing their legal duties.”
Stressing that they were not planning any invasion of the state with thugs, the lawmakers called the attention of Nigerians to the unlawful acts of the governor in his desperate move to ensure that the lawmakers are rendered ineffective in the discharge of their lawful duties.
“We have said for the umpteenth time that the governor would be given a fair hearing. He has nothing to fear. He should continue to have faith in the Nigerian constitution. He had just won a constitutional matter at the Supreme Court. We will apply the same law that the court used to give him victory. He is an Ekiti man. We don’t hope to punish him unjustly,” the statement added.
It stressed that Fayose could not benefit from the law and at the same time prevent other elected representatives of the people from enjoying the same benefit.
“The best he and his deputy can do is to appear before the panel to be set up by the CJ and defend themselves. This is the rule of law which he has benefited from and there should not be an exception to this,” the statement added.
Fayose not inciting anyone —Aide
Meantime, the Special Assistant to the Ekiti State Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, has described as false, claim by the factional Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, that Fayose was inciting the people against the APC lawmakers.
He said: “The reality in Ekiti State today is that the people are rising up to defend their mandate and if Omirin and his APC lawmakers are not working against the people’s mandate, they have nothing to fear.”
Olayinka said the APC should rather ask themselves what they have done to offend the people to the extent that none of the lawmakers, who sought re-election was re-elected at the April 11 election.
He asked whether it was Fayose that incited the people against the APC on March 28 and April 11 when the people openly rejected the party with their votes.
The governor’s aide, who reiterated Governor Fayose’s commitment to peaceful resolution of the crisis in the state House of Assembly, added: “The governor cannot stop the people who voted for him from protecting their mandate.
“Some of these people who called themselves elite were in the comfort of their bedrooms in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja and abroad when Okada riders, traders, drivers, workers, artisans, students and all the common people of Ekiti stayed in the sun and rain to cast their votes for Fayose.
“Because Fayose wants peace and he is committed to it, those who gave him the mandate to govern them for four years should not defend their mandate if it is being threatened by a few people who they have rejected with their votes?
“Instead of making noise in the media, the APC lawmakers, including Omirin and those deceiving him with the prophesy of him becoming acting governor of Ekiti State should face the reality of their total rejection by Ekiti people and stop running from Idanre to Lagos, Osogbo and Abuja trying to uproot the tree planted by the people of Ekiti.”
Uniform men storm Ado-Ekiti — APC
Spokesman for Dr Adewale Omirin, Wole Olujobi late last night alleged that scores of soldiers in about 12 vehicles stormed Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, in what looked like a covert operation in aid of Governor Fayose who squealed early in the day alleging possible invasion of the state by APC lawmakers today.
It’s a lie —Fayose’s aide
But the governor’s Special Assistant on new media, Lere Olayinka responded saying: “I am in Ado Ekiti as I write. In fact, I am along Ijigbo area of Ado Ekiti. I have not noticed the presence of any soldier.”