By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti Statehas said the alleged plot by the Federal Government to prevent him from travelling abroad was inherently unconstitutional and dictatorial. Miffed at the development, Fayose said; “Under the federal system of government, State governors are not appendages of the President and as a leading opposition figure in Nigeria, he cannot be cowed by President Mohammadu Buhari and his agents.”
Governor Fayose, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communication and New Media, Mr Lere Olayinka was apparently reacting to reports that two governors, one from the South-west and another from the South South have been placed on travel restriction on President Buhari’s order, saying whenever he wished to travel out Nigeria, he will do so in the full glare of the public.
According to Fayose, “I am not surprised or disappointed by this latest plot of the Buhari’s government because the President Buhari that we know is a man without any atom of respect for the rights of Nigerians as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and this he demonstrated as a military dictator and now demonstrating as a democratically elected president.”
The governor said he was however amazed that; “This dangerous dimension of compelling a sitting governor that enjoys Constitutional Immunity like the President to obtain clearance from the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS) before travelling out of Nigeria can ever be contemplated.” He said President Buhari and his agents should be mindful of the fact that under a federal system of government, the states and national government both enjoy some autonomy, with sovereign power formally divided between the national government and the States such that each State retains some degree of control over its internal affairs.
Olayinka, who was flanked by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Idowu Adelusi said; “Few days ago, when Governor Ayodele Fayose was reliably informed that President Mohammadu Buhari had directed that he should be banned from travelling outside Nigeria, he simply took the information as mere rumour, concluding that disrespect for the constitution of Nigeria and Buhari’s dictatorship would not be extended to the most ridiculous level of preventing a governor elected just as the president from travelling out of the country.
“Even ordinary Nigerians do not require clearance from the DSS or any security agency to travel outside Nigeria unless travel restriction is placed by an order of the court, not to talk of State Governors that enjoy immunity just like the President and are not under the control of the President.