Tension is building up in Ekiti State as Governor Ayo Fayose asked the people to defend the mandate they gave to him following the impeachment process initiated by the All Progressives Congress lawmakers in the state assembly.
Already three groups, the Okada Riders Association, Road Transport Workers Association of Nigeria and National Union of Road Transport Workers have put their members on notice to look out for the APC lawmakers apparently to forestall their impeachment.
The 19 APC lawmakers in the Ekiti State House of Assembly had two weeks ago served a notice of impeachment on Mr. Fayose, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, who was sworn into office last October.
The lawmakers were away from the state until recently, following the victory of the APC in the presidential election. During their absence, seven PDP legislators were performing legislative duties which many consider illegal.
Mr. Fayose, who sounded conciliatory after the Supreme Court affirmed his election last week, made a live television broadcast on Sunday asking Ekiti people to defend their mandate from the APC lawmakers, who he claimed were invading the state to impeach him.
He urged drivers and okada riders in particular to move out en masse to defend his mandate, saying: “My mandate is your mandate and you must defend it.”
The governor made the broadcast about twenty minutes after leaving a church service where a clergyman advised him to embrace peace and reconcile with the APC lawmakers by restoring their salaries and other benefits to enable them do their jobs.
Shortly after leaving the church, two statements emerged on the state radio as public announcements that were being broadcast intermittently.
A public announcement by the Chairman of the Okada Riders Association, Niyi Dahunsi “All Okada riders in Ekiti State are enjoined to be on the look-out for strange faces in the state from tomorrow. This is because it has been gathered that APC lawmakers working with Dr Adewale Omirin are planning to truncate the peace of the state by planning to invade the state with armed thugs.
“All Okada riders in the state should be mobilised to the House of Assembly by 6am tomorrow. Governor Fayose’s mandate is the mandate of okada riders. We must defend it with the last drop of our blood.”
The Chairman of Road Transport Workers Association of Nigeria, Samuel Agbede, and his counterpart in the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Clement said, “Information available to us is that the APC lawmakers are planning to invade the state with lorry-loads of thugs recruited from Lagos and Osun states tomorrow.
“The APC lawmakers have vowed to kill any one that stands on their way to achieving the plot of impeaching Governor Fayose and his Deputy, Dr Kolapo Olusola.
“We therefore alert all members of our union to be on the look-out from tomorrow. All driver unions’ members should be prepared to defend the mandate freely given to Governor Fayose.
“Our members should monitor movement of vehicles into Ekiti State from today so as to prevent invasion of thugs whose only intention is to kill our people. We gave our mandate to Fayose and we must be prepared to defend it.”