… Vow to stand by Fayose
By Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
THE 26 members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, have declared that no amount of coercion, intimidation and harassment from the President Mohammadu Buhari led Federal Government would make them submit to an alleged plan to use them to impeach Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The lawmakers, who were reacting to alleged invasion of the premises of the State Assembly by men suspected to be officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) last Friday, which resulted into alleged abduction of four lawmakers, raised the alarm that there is a “… clandestine plot by the President Mohammadu Buhari led All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government to destabilize the Ekiti State Government, using the instrumentalities of the Department of State Services (DSS).”
In a release read to newsmen yesterday by Speaker of the House, Rt Honourable Kolawole Oluwawole, they alleged that: “More than 10 DSS men who were armed to the teeth , invaded the Assembly Complex, shooting sporadically into the air, thereby causing panic among members and staff of the House of Assembly, who had to scamper for safety.”
“At the end of the commotion created by this barbaric act, we discovered that four of our members could not be found.
“It was only this morning that we were able to establish that Hon Afolabi Akanni, representing Efon Constituency was abducted and taken to Abuja. The whereabouts of three other members is still unknown as we speak, and reasons for the invasion and abduction of our members are not known.
Alleging further that the abduction of members of the House is a script by the Federal Government and APC to detain top functionaries of Ekiti government so as to coerce them into submission, they said: “The plot is to harass, intimidate and embarrass top officials of the Ayodele Fayose government because of his critical stance on the Buhari’s government. We are aware that 18 of our members have been penciled down for harassment and the game plan is to harass them to submission, with a view to coercing them into signing an already prepared notice of impeachment of the governor and his deputy.”
The lawmakers recalled that the Federal Government had used the same tactics 10 years ago to truncate democracy in Ekiti State and alleged that President Buhari is using the head of DSS, Mr Lawal Daura from his state, (Katsina) and his men, who are playing exactly the same role played between 1984 and 1985 by the National Security Organisation (NSO) under Lawal Rafindadi, also from Katsina, to muzzle the opposition.
They therefore asserted that: “This reign of brute force over constitutional democracy will fail, saying: “Nigeria is not a banana republic that can be ruled anyhow by anyone.”
Speaking further, the 26 lawmakers recalled: “We also wish to remind Nigerians of how in September last year, the Federal Government invaded the Akwa Ibom State Government House with armed men of the Department of State Services (DSS).
“ Up till today, Nigerians are yet to be told officially why, in a Federal system of government in which federating units enjoy some degree of autonomy, the Government House occupied by a governor who enjoys the same immunity enjoyed by the President as provided by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was invaded by armed men of the DSS.
Warning that such alleged use of force would fail in democracy, they said: “This is because we have seen them operate before and here they are now, trying to take us back to that inglorious era of dictatorship and barbarism where the DSS (then NSO) was used to oppress Nigerians, throwing them in jail without trial. This time around, we are in a democracy that can never accommodate that 1984 era of draconian rule.
“Lastly, let it be reiterated once again that this House of Assembly is a partner in the progress of the Ekiti State government under the able leadership of Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose. Therefore, the Abuja based agents of destabilization should get it into their heads that we will never be harassed or intimidated into buying into their sinister agenda.”