From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado Ekiti
Former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State and governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Sikiru Tae Lawal, has accused the Federal Government of playing politics with the lives of Ekiti people by seizing allocation accruing to the state.
Lawal, therefore, called for immediate release of the state’s January allocation, saying the Supreme Court in the case of Lagos State Vs FG on the contentious withholding of the Local governments’ allocations by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, had passed an explicit verdict that the states are federating units with full autonomy and that the Federal Government has no power whatsoever to deny them of their statutory benefits.
Speaking with journalists in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday, the former deputy governor berated the Federal Government for what he described as the ‘rascally behaviour’, calling for immediate reversal of the action to prevent anarchy in the system.
Lawal stressed the need for President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to exercise restraint and extricate itself from unnecessary vindictive actions that could trample on the 1999 constitution and plunge Nigerian citizens into underserved hardship due to morbid politicking.
“This action is not only illegal, unconstitutional and flies in the face of the law, it was equally morally reprehensible. How can a government that swore to protect the constitution and see to the welfare of the Nigerian citizens are now withholding statutory allocation to a state?
“In case President Buhari has forgotten so soon, he garnered a total of 120, 332 votes in Ekiti State in the last presidential elections. Those who voted were not spirits, they were residents of Ekiti with high percentage of them being Ekiti citizens.
“By my own understanding of politics, less than 12 percent of the total population are card carrying members of political parties. Why should the APC-led federal government now punish those who are not politicians and those who voted for him during the last presidential poll?
“Most hit by this illegal action was the civil servants, whose salaries could not be paid by this deleterious action. Majority of them must have by one influence or certain consideration voted for APC in that election. Was this pernicious action a reward for their votes?
“I want to appeal to the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate this matter and do the right thing in the interest of the Ekiti populace and the constitution he swore to protect coupled with his former status as a Professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria,” Lawal stated.
Lawal called on all lovers of democracy to call the FG to order and advise it against playing politics with the welfare and wellbeing of its citizens.