By Gbenga Ariyibi
Ado Ekiti—Legal icon, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), who is chairman of the elders committee on resolution of the ongoing tussle between the 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers in Ekiti State House of Assembly and the state governor, Mr Ayo Fayose, has expressed disappointment with the lawmakers for their decision to shun the peace meeting, saying he would continue to toe the path of peace and development of the state The 19 APC lawmakers who are bent on impeaching Fayose had, in the last minute to the meeting slated for yesterday at the private university of the legal luminary, announced their unwillingness to attend the meeting.
The statement signed on behalf of the lawmakers by Wale Olujobi, claimed they had information that majority of their members would be arrested by the government at the venue of the meeting.
However, despite the absence of the lawmakers at the peace parley, Governor Fayose and the seven Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers attended the meeting.
Amid tight security, other personalities at the meeting were, Chief Deji Fasuan, a retired permanent secretary in the old Western Region and Co-Chairman, Ekiti Council of Elders, former Minister of National Planning, Chief Ayo Ogunlade, former Secretary General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide, among others.
Also in attendance at the meeting were, the state Police Commissioner, Mr Joshua Ibine and the Director of the Department of State Services, Mr Duke Fubara, who led over 200 security personnel to provide security at the meeting.
Speaking at the occasion, Chief Babalola, who displayed several text messages exchanged between him and Omirin, said he took it upon himself to assure Omirin and his group that nothing would happen to them and that none of them would be arrested for any reason.
He said with the assistance of the state CP and the state Director of DSS, that no fewer than 200 security operatives were drafted to the venue of the meeting for the security and safety of the lawmakers.
He said he decided to mediate in the crisis between the governor and the lawmakers because of his stake in the ‘Ekiti Project’, adding that he had earlier received letters from the Nigeria Labour Congress and Chief Kunle Olajide on the need to resolve the lingering crisis.
Why Ekiti peace meeting failed, by APC lawmakers
The 19 APC lawmakers in Ekiti State House of Assembly, however, explained why the peace meeting brokered by Chief Afe Babalola between them and Governor Fayose failed to hold as scheduled.
The lawmakers in a statement by Speaker Adewale, Omirin’s Special Adviser on Media, Wole Olujobi, explained that while they appreciated peace moves initiated by the eminent lawyer, surrounding circumstances gave away the governor as not prepared for any resolution of the crisis.
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