Kamarudeen Ogundele

There was panic again in Ado Ekiti on Monday as members of the Peoples Democratic Party and supporters of Governor Ayodele Fayose laid siege to the Ekiti State House of Assembly complex in order to halt the resumption of the 19 All Progressives Congress lawmakers.Ayo-Fayose

Fayose had announced in a statewide broadcast on Sunday that the lawmakers planned to take over the assembly to commence their impeachment proceedings against him.

He therefore urged transport unions, market women and workers to rise up and protect the mandate they gave him.

Although there were no barricades at entry points to Ado Ekiti city as done in the previous protests, many workers who arrived in their offices at 8am returned to their homes out of fear.

Private and public schools in the state capital failed to reopen for the third term academic session as a result of the development.

The governor’s supporters and the state PDP members who were allegedly mobilised by the caretaker chairmen of the 16 Local Government Areas in the state clustered around the assembly complex, watching out for the APC lawmakers.

Security agencies were also seen at the entry points frisking vehicles and passersby.

While the Fayose supporters waited and discussed in clusters, the 25 newly elected PDP House of Assembly lawmakers issued a statement in which they alleged that the personal ambitions of the Speaker, Adewale Omirin, and a Senator, Babafemi Ojudu, were responsible for the aggravation of the political crisis in the state.

They called on the state stakeholders, especially traditional rulers, to prevail on the two lawmakers not to throw the state into chaos because of “their ambition to be acting governor and governor.’’

“Whoever that is interested in the Ekiti State Governorship position should wait till 2018,” the lawmakers-elect said in the statement by Gboyega Aribisogan, Segun Adewumi and Adeniran Alagbada.

But the Special Adviser on Media to Omirin, Wole Olujobi, denied that his boss aimed to become the acting governor of the state.

He also said that it could not have been true that Ojudu collected money from anyone to ensure the impeachment of Fayose in 2006.

“He (Omirin) is the Speaker of the Assembly who must check the governor’s excesses in his flagrant trampling on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Olujobi stated.

Meanwhile, the APC in the state has praised transport union associations in the state for not joining the Fayose supporters and PDP members.

The APC , in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, said, “We praise the drivers and motorcycle operators for their courage and wisdom. Fayose is used to protecting his own interest and keeping his children in safety while he distributes guns to the children of others to foment trouble.

“The day he was first impeached in 2006, he asked his supporters to meet at Fajuyi to confront the soldiers. It was later that his supporters discovered that the governor had bolted to safety while his supporters were tear-gassed with several of them wounded.”

The party explained the matter at hand was not about partisanship but about the abuse of the 1999 Constitution and wondered why Fayose believed he must win through violence.

It added, “He first led thugs to sack the court and beat up a judge while court records in the Chief Judge’s office were torn. The Chief Judge’s secretary was beaten.

“Now, he openly made a live broadcast in the state media inciting his supporters to an act of insurrection by disallowing the lawmakers from doing their lawful duties.

“Even during Sunday service in the church, Fayose, to the shock of everyone, was inciting worshipers to protect the mandate they gave him through violent resistance to the lawmakers. Why must a governor choose violence as a religion?

“He effectively grounded the judiciary and now it is the turn of the parliament. Nigerian democracy is on trial and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is in chains if Fayose can single-handedly cripple these two sacred democratic institutions through violence and he appears winning all the way.”

The party regretted that the governor’s media statement had created panic among parents who kept their children at home on Monday for fear of attacks on their way to schools.

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