© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Impeachment Threat Against Fayose Heightens Tension In Ekiti
The Ekiti State police command has stepped up security in the state following the service of an impeachment notice on Governor Ayodele Fayose by the House of Assembly, which has heightened tension, particularly in Ado Ekiti, the capital.
The 19 lawmakers of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in the state House of Assembly last week served Fayose an impeachment notice, accusing him of several infractions of the law.
Ekiti State police commissioner, Taiwo Lakanu, told newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Sunday that he had ordered a 24 hour security alert on major towns and cities, including the state capital, particularly the House of Assembly.
Lakanu acknowledged that tension had built up following reports of threat of impeachment on the governor, adding that the police was being proactive to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
“We know the tension generated must have caused some apprehension, but we are being proactive because the security of lives and property and general peace of the people is our topmost priority,’ the police chief stated.
He added that the command would “leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety of our citizens and for everybody to go about their normal business without fear of harassment.”
Governor Fayose and the 19 APC lawmakers in the 24 member Assembly have been at loggerheads since their election in June last year, with the legislators relocating to Lagos due to fear for their safety.
However, the lawmakers were emboldened to return to the state last week after the victory of the APC at the presidential election won by its candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
Their attempt to reconvene the House was, however, thwarted by the police which denied access to the legislative assembly and sealed it off.
The lawmakers thereafter served Fayose an impeachment notice in which they accused him of eight impeachable offences bothering on impunity, invasion of the House of Assembly with thugs, orchestrating an unconstitutional election of a Speaker, and sponsoring an illegal impeachment process in the Assembly.
The lawmakers also accused the governor of operating an illegal budget not duly approved by the House.
In spite of the increasing tension, the 19 APC legislators have sworn that they would follow through with Fayose’s impeachment. The impeached Speaker of the House, Adewale Omirin said that the governor, who has dismissed the threat of his removal as a joke, has been accused of grave offences, many of which are constitutional breaches.
Speaking through his media aide, Wole Olujobi, the Speaker said that the legislators were insisting on Fayose’s removal to save democracy in the state from what he called “executive lawlessness and impunity”.
“It will soon dawn on Fayose and his aides that the matter at hand goes beyond exuberant media skirmishes that are being deployed to rally support for the governor,” Omirin warned.
Reacting to the threat, however, Fayose said that he had a mandate to govern the state and the people who elected him would defend it.
Speaking through his special assistant on public communication, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said that the impeachment threat was aimed at distracting him from the governance of the state, accusing the APC of trying to score political points ahead of next Saturday’s elections.
“Sovereignty belongs to the people and the people of Ekiti State on June 21, 2014 surrendered their sovereignty to me to be their governor for four years. Instead of respecting the wish of the Ekiti people, which they again affirmed on March 28 and will further affirm on April 11, the PAC people that were rejected in two free and fair elections have been trying all trick to return to power through the back door,” Fayose observed.
The governor warned the APC in the state to respect the wish of the people “as the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan respected the wish of Nigerians on the election of Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).”