IMPEACHMENT: Fear grips Ekiti as schools, offices remain shut
Written by Taiwo Adediran on April 21, 2015
OKADA riders and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, yesterday, besieged the Ekiti State House of Assembly to stop the 19 APC lawmakers from impeaching the state governor, Ayo Fayose.
The State House of Assembly remained under lock and key yesterday, even as the 19 All Progressives Congress, APC, lawmakers failed to resume at the House as earlier promised
However, most primary and secondary schools both private and public, whose pupils were expected to resume for a new term, could not do so yesterday due to the fear of possible crisis in the state.
But the leadership of commercial motor cycle riders association, otherwise known as okada riders and commercial transport workers made good their promise as they converged in huge numbers at the premises of the House with the motive of preventing the 19 APC lawmakers from impeaching the governor.
They pledged at the weekend to protect Fayose from being impeached, threatening to use the last drop of their blood to protect the mandate freely given to Fayose during the June 21, 2014 governorship election in the state.
Defending their action, Mr Clement Adekola, the state Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, said it was the decision of the union to ensure that the APC lawmakers should not be allowed to cause confusion in the state.
His words: ”It is true we all agreed to be here and we have been here since 6 a.m. Our mission here is to prevent the APC lawmakers from causing crisis in our state.
“We all voted for Fayose on June 21, 2014 during the governorship election, and we shall do everything to protect the mandate freely given to the governor, even if it involves sleeping here everyday.”
However, armed regular and mobile policemen were at hand to keep the peace.
The usual barricade of roads and prevention of both human and vehicular movements which had become a common feature since the crisis began were also absent during yesterday’s demonstration, as many residents were seen going about their normal businesses but only few vehicles and motorcycles plied the roads in the early hours of the day over apparent fear of attack.
However, most schools, both public and private, which had planned to resume for the third term could not do so, as most parents did not allow their children or wards to venture outside due to fear of being attacked by hoodlums.
The few schools that opened had to politely send back parents and their wards, on the excuse that the coast was not yet clear as far as safety of lives and property were concerned.
A parent, said he decided to keep his children attending a private secondary school in Ado-Ekiti at home because he received a text message from the school authorities on Sunday, announcing the shifting of resumption date to today due to security concerns.
Meanwhile, all the 25 newly elected PDP House of Assembly lawmakers in Ekiti State, yesterday, issued a statement where they alleged that the personal ambition of both embattled Speaker Adewale Omirin of APC and a Federal lawmaker, Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, was responsible for the aggravation of the political crisis in the state
The lawmakers-elect called on stakeholders in the state, especially traditional rulers, to prevail on Omirin and Ojudu not to throw the state into chaos just because of their ambition to be Acting governor and governor respectively.
They spoke under the aegis of Conference of Ekiti State Lawmakers-elect. They said in a release issued on Monday and signed by Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, Hon Segun Adewumi and Adeniran Alagbada: “Whoever is interested in the Ekiti State governorship position should wait till 2018.”
Embrace Fayose’s peace offer, PDP charges APC lawmakers
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged the APC lawmakers in Ekiti State to embrace the olive branch extended to them by governor Fayose in the interest of the development of the state.
In a statement signed yesterday by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party also called on all political stakeholders in Ekiti State to embrace the new spirit of reconciliation, forgiveness and dialogue being offered by the governor.
Metuh, however, urged the APC to be constructive in opposition, adding, “APC, as the party in opposition in Ekiti State, should strive to be constructive rather than destructive, as opposition does not in anyway mean destruction in a democracy.”
Commending governor Fayose for extending hands of friendship to the lawmakers and his detractors, the PDP described such an act as the mark of a true leader committed to peace and the welfare of his people.
Metuh said: “Governor Fayose’s new posture is a step in the right direction geared towards achieving the much desired peace and development in the interest of the masses who freely gave him their mandate.
“It is in this spirit that we charge all political stakeholders in Ekiti State, especially the APC lawmakers, to embrace peace and work with their governor to move their state forward. The unity, stability and progress of the state must be paramount and placed over and above all personal and group interests at all times.”
The PDP also praised the people of Ekiti State for standing up in defence of the mandate they gave to Governor Fayose while urging them to ensure that all their actions and utterances fall within the ambit of the law and the tenets of democracy.
APC praises Ekiti transport workers
Meantime, the APC, in Ekiti State, has praised drivers and motorcycle riders associations for refusing to obey governor Fayose’s inciting order to foment trouble over alleged plan by the 19 APC lawmakers to storm the House of Assembly with thugs to impeach him.
The governor had, yesterday, made a live broadcast on the state media urging drivers, motorbike operators, market women and workers to rise up to protect the mandate they gave him.
Few minutes later, state radio and television stations ran public announcements intermittently urging drivers and motorcycle operators to be on the look-out for strange faces invading the town to work for the APC lawmakers while also urging them to mobilise to the House of Assembly to prevent the governor’s impeachment.
According to APC’s Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun; ‘’ The drivers and many okada riders refused to protest, saying that they would not be used as cannon fodders while the governor’s children were kept in safety and luxury abroad.
Praising the transport workers for their courage and wisdom, Olatunbosun said it is callous for a man to put fellow human beings in harm’s way over protection of his interest while keeping his own children out of danger to enjoy safety in luxury.
“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 calling on the children of others to foment trouble,” Olatubosun said.
APC spokesman said the matter at hand was not about partisanship but about the abuse of the constitution, and wondered why Fayose believed he must win through violence every time he tramples on the constitution.
He wondered why Fayose preferred violent option in the resolution of constitutional and democratic matters. He also asked Ekiti elders preaching peace to Speaker Adewale Omirin that they must first start with Fayose on the need to embrace peace by operating within the ambit of the law instead of inciting people into violence.
Olatubosun also regretted that the governor’s inciting media statement had created panic among parents who kept their wards at home for fear of attacks on their way to schools.