Ekiti lawmakers hold session on highway to support Fayose

By Sunday Aloba, Ado-Ekiti 

Members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly caused a stir in Ado Ekiti, the state capital where they held a plenary on a major highway to declare their support for the embattled Governor Ayo Fayose over his travails with the Economic and Financial and other Crimes Commission (EFCC).Fayose is being investigated by the anti-graft agency for his alleged complicity in the receipt of N1.2 billion out of a total sum of N4.7 billion set aside for governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). 

The legislators stormed the Okesa Roundabout where they had mounted canopies to hold their sitting. Before their arrival at about 11.00 am, the area had been cordoned off by a detachment of armed policemen. 

Twenty three out of twenty six members of the Assembly who are all members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) participated in the session which they described as a “sit-out”. 

The sitting diverted traffic to one lane of the highway while the Assemblymen who carried placards commenced the legislative business to declare support for Fayose whom they described as their ‘benefactor.’ 

They accused Lagos lawyer Femi Falana and Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters Femi Ojudu of being brains behind an alleged plot to remove Fayose from office. They also claimed that both Falana and Ojudu are harbouring governorship ambition. 

Some of their placards read: “No Matter Your Media Trial and Blackmail, On Fayose We Stand”, “APC, Falana, Ojudu Using EFCC Against Fayose Because of their Guber Ambition,” “We Are Ready for Arrest, We Cannot Be Intimidated”, “Leave Fayose Alone”, among others. 

The Clerk of the House, Tola Esan was present at the sitting which was conducted without the mace, the legislative symbol of authority. 

Speaker Kola Oluwawole alleged that ten of the legislators had been pencilled down for arrest on Thursday (today) on what he called “trumped-up charge of not having valid certificates to contest election as Assembly members.” 

Oluwawole said: “We embarked on this sit-out because we were duly elected by Ekiti people. We want to tell the whole world that we are determined and resolute to support Fayose. 

“No amount of blackmail will make us to do dirty job, we are calling on the APC led government to leave Fayose alone. The freezing of his account is condemnable. 

“We are aware of plans to arrest ten members of Ekiti State House of Assembly, we are ready for arrest. We stand by Fayose, enough is enough. Let there be peace in Ekiti, let Abuja leave Fayose alone.” 

House Committee Chairman on Health, Samuel Omotoso accused the Federal Government of “flippancy and double standards” in its prosecution of anti-corruption crusade saying the legislators are ready for arrest. 

Omotoso said: “There are double standards and flippancy in the so-called anti-corruption war. When you are in PDP, you are a demon but when you run to APC, you become a saint. 

“They are doing selective anti-corruption crusade, the DSS disobeyed a court order and this amounts to lawlessness. They should come and pick us even when we are dead, we will not impeach Fayose.” 

Chairman, House Committee on Information, Gboyega Aribisogan, alleged that the Federal Government is planning another emergency rule in Ekiti accusing Falana and Ojudu as arrowheads. 

He said: “They are planning another emergency rule in Ekiti State, Falana and Ojudu want to be governor by all means but we want to tell them that we Ekiti people don’t want another emergency rule. 

“Ekiti people don’t want another impeachment, they can’t coerce us to Abuja to sign impeachment notice. They are planning to turn Ekiti to battleground, they are planning to kidnap House of Assembly members. Let them wait till 2018.” 

Deputy Speaker Segun Adewumi said: “Ekiti people are behind Fayose we have not run away as being speculated and we will not run away. We have left Egypt since 2006 and we will not go back to Egypt because we are here by the benevolence of Fayose. 

“Let it be clearly and emphatically said to all enemies of Ekiti who are hiding behind federal power that Ayo Fayose will not be impeached. When they are in power at the centre, PDP will not rock the boat but if they are in power at the centre and PDP is in power at the state, they will want to rock the boat. 

Chairman House Committee on Chieftaincy Matters, Mrs. Titilayo Akerele, alleged that she has been receiving calls from unknown people who are threatening to kidnap and assassinate them. 

She said: “I kept receiving calls threatening assassination and kidnap. They should plead with this (APC) government to fight corruption with human face and respect fundamental human rights. The legislative arm in Nigeria should not be silenced.” 

Deputy Chief Whip Dayo Akinleye debunked the rumour that the legislators had fled to Dubai and South Africa saying they refer to rot in jail than to be coerced into an impeachment plot. 

House Leader of Business Tunji Akinyele said: “Ekiti State House of Assembly is never on the run, we are here in Ado Ekiti waiting for them. What they did in 2006 will not work this time around. 

“The 2006 impeachment notice was signed on the table of the (then) EFCC Chairman. APC has been rejected in Ekiti State and come 2018, APC will be rejected again.”

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