James Sowole in Akure
There was confusion on Monday in some parts of Akure, the Ondo State capital, as the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi returned to the Government House, Alagbaka, which he left about three weeks ago following his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
There were sporadic shooting of guns by security men attached to the deputy governor to scare away protesters who had formed barricade at Mobil Fiwasaye Junction to prevent his convoy from moving to the Government House.
Olanusi was coming from Supare Akoko in Akoko Southwest Local Government when some youths with placards of various inscription rained abusive languages on him.
Some of the inscriptions read: ‘Ali Must go’, ‘No way for Olanusi in Government House’ ‘Olanusi is a traitor’ and Jasper Ali Must resign’.
Sensing the likely consequences, Olanusi’s security personnel shot sporadically into the air to scare away the protesters before they could pass through the road leading to the government house.
Sequel to the sound of gunshots, people around the Alagbaka area where many banks were located scampered for safety as they thought the shots were fired by armed robbers.
However, the undeterred protesters were said to have hauled stones, sachet water and other pebbles on his convoy.
The confusion led to the deployment of military men to the banking areas.
Olanusi accused the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko of using suspected political thugs to harass him on his way to his official resident.
His words: “It is very surprising and rude shock that a sitting governor after conducting election is still going around with thugs to attack me in the State House.
“You can see things yourself at the roundabout, if I had not come with my convoy, they would have attacked me.
“I will call on the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of this zone, and the Inspector General of Police to protect me more for God’s sake.
“They should provide me with more mobile policemen to guide me. I am ready to resume duty as elected Deputy Governor of Ondo State.
“Nobody has told me to resign. If they are talking about impeachment they should go about it in a lawful way, not that they should use thugs to attack an elected deputy governor.
They should realise that as Mimiko was elected as governor, I Ali Olabusi was equally elected. He cannot be chasing me with thugs.”
But the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Eni Akinsola, denied that political thugs were used to harass the deputy governor.
He said some people were trying to reverse the trend of peace the state has been enjoying in the past six years.
According to him, Olanusi came to the town shooting sporadically to the air and it was the aggrieved resident who had never witnessed such scene in the past years that protested against the deputy governor.
Akinsola said people should accept democracy as normal way of life, accept when their calculation went wrong and learn how to accept defeat.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOS) has given the state House of Assembly seven days ultimatum to impeach the deputy governor for what they described as an act of betrayal.
The students association made this declaration when they led a peaceful protest to the governor’s office in Akure, demanding the impeachment of the deputy governor.
The students carried placards with various inscriptions like ‘No more grand father’ “Ali must go’, “Olanusi must go’ ‘This is the government of the youths’ ‘Olanusi is not a good leader,’ among others.
Speaking on behalf of the students, NAOSS President, Awodola Afolayan, said the deputy governor had never been of any benefit to anybody in the state including the youths only for him to defect to other political party a day to the election.
He described the deputy governor as docile, dormant and passive whose action is capable of truncating the existing peace being enjoyed in the state.
Afolayan said the people of the state want the existing peace to continue stressing that the defection of the deputy governor was for selfish reason and not in the interest of his people.
Also speaking, South-west Vice-President of the National Association of the Nigerians Students, Mr. Timilehin Ayenuro said the students were in support of the good governance being enjoyed in the state and would not allow anybody to distabilise the peace for any selfish interest.
He said the state House of Assembly should start the process of impeaching the deputy governor immediately and assured Governor Olusegun Mimiko of their absolute loyalty.
Addressing the students, Chief of Staff to the governor, Dr. Kola Ademujimi, commended them for their peaceful conduct and charged them not to allow anything that can cause the breach of peace in the state.
He assured them that their message would be delivered appropriately.
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