… Ekiti elders warn politicians
By Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
THE Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, yesterday lashed out at the Department of State Services (DSS) over the recent invasion of the state House of Assembly and arrest of some lawmakers. He said the agency has taken on a wrong customer by the act.
Fayose flayed DSS for allegedly usurping the statutory roles of the police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a desperate attempt to get at him at all costs.
The governor was reacting to the Federal High Court judgment delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo in Ado Ekiti on Friday, which ordered the DSS to release a detained Ekiti lawmaker, Hon Afolabi Akanni with immediate effect.
It will be recalled that the state’s Finance Commissioner, Mr Toyin Ojo, who was also arrested and later released, said that the DSS had interrogated him on issues based on mere rumours.
The governor, who also took on President Mohammadu Buhari for allegedly aiding the Lawal Daura-led DSS to act beyond its constitutional powers, said there is no amount of intimidation and harassment that would dissuade him from criticizing the Federal Government on its policies which he considered damaging to the nation’s well-being.
Said he: “Beyond this judgment, I have always said that the DSS are taking on more than their brief. They have become an instrument of oppression, and acts without respect to the law that established it. They are now taking up the jobs of the EFCC and all other security agencies.
“You would recall that they were at the Akwa Ibom state lodge, the Government House to harass the governor. They came to Ekiti too, to do the same thing. But on this Ekiti, they are taking on a wrong customer.
“May be they think this will make me to stop criticizing the bad policies of the Buhari-led government, no. Let me make it very clear to them that majority would have their way, minority would have their say.
“Ours is to continue to help democracy to grow and to help the average man get dividends of democracy by keeping the government in power on its toes. Harassing me would make their government unpopular, I have said that before, and attempting to take me on would bring down their government.
“I’m entitled to my opinion, how would DSS be investigating the finances of a state? That is taking it too far. Why would DSS detain somebody without a court order, and detaining him for one, two weeks?.
“Anybody who is supporting this act, one day it would be your turn. It is Ekiti today. I urge all Nigerians to rise up and oppose this act of oppression; this country belongs to all of us.
“It is time to stop this harassment, taking away the rights of humanity, taking away the rights of Nigerians, anything that would take away our rights should be confronted headlong and be stopped. When they finish with politicians, they would take on lawyers and even journalist,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, a group under the aegis of Ekiti State Council of Elders, has warned politicians against causing public unrest by creating bad blood among politicians of various parties in the state.
A statement signed by its Chairman, Prof. Joseph Oluwasanmi and the Chairman of Ekiti State Creation, Chief Deji Fasuan, appealed to politicians not to substitute civilized dialogue with violence, as witnessed during the old western region.
Apparently reacting to the crisis rocking the state over the DSS invasion of the House of Assembly and arrest of some state officials, the elders said: “the country as a whole has much problem with the economy dipping virtually every day. The fall of the naira and ascendancy of the dollar are major concerns for policy makers.
“Certainly, we have our own share of this ongoing national debacle. It is advisable that we don’t create more problems for ourselves,” they warned.