At least one person may have been killed Tuesday as Peoples Democratic Party members in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, protested on the streets of the town, blocking strategic locations, in an escalation of the tension generated by an attempt by All Progressives Congress’ lawmakers to impeach Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Also, commercial activities in Ado- Ekiti and other areas in the state were grounded Tuesday
The PDP members in their hundreds arrived the state capital on Tuesday morning in rented buses from all of the 16 local governments in the state. They set up bonfires, blocked major road like the Fajuyi Roundabout in the centre of the town and close to the Government House.
They also used long buses to block NTA Road, which leads to the State House of Assembly Complex and gathered along Ikere Road junction.
They drove recklessly in Kombi buses while chanting solidarity songs in support of Mr. Fayose.
The protesters, who were later dispersed by the police and told to put out their bonfire, later embarked on a solidarity procession to the Government House, where they were met by Mr. Fayose and Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, his deputy.
Mr. Olusola-Eleka who addressed the crowd thanked them for their support and reassured them that the governor will prevail at the end.
‘‘This solidarity visit shows that you still support us. God will destroy those who vowed to destroy Ekiti. We appreciate you. Nothing will shake this government. This Egyptian war being led by the APC, we will see it no more. At the end of the day, we will come together to celebrate,’’ he said.
Nineteen APC lawmakers in the state had issued a notice of impeachment to the governor, giving him seven days to respond to the allegations of gross misconduct against him and his deputy.
Mr. Fayose said he has not received any notice of impeachment from the legislators. He described the legislators plotting to impeach him as enemies of the state adding that they would have to impeach God first before impeaching him.
No recourse to the rule of law
In a telephone chat with PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday afternoon, the Spokesperson to Mr. Fayose, Lere Olayinka, said protesters on the streets were out to protect their mandate. Though he said the protesters were not under any instruction to be disruptive, he said they have the right to disregard the rule of law while protesting since those plotting to remove the governor are going about it without recourse to the rule of law.
“People are angry and they have rights to show their anger more so when people who should protect their rights are no longer doing so. The people who voted for Ayo Fayose en mass and made him governor, they have rights to protect their mandate,” he said.
“Also trying to remove a governor should not be done illegally. Up till now nobody has served Ayo Fayose impeachment notice. It is only on Facebook and Sahara Reporters that we saw it.
“Impeachment notice is something you have to serve personally to the person involved, if you’ve not done that and you are coming to the state to want to come and remove the governor it means you have also made up your mind to carry out what I call Jankara. So if you are going to be without the mindset of respecting rule of law, do you expect me to respect rule of law while reacting?
“We’re trying to appeal to the people to maintain law and order. The governor is doing that. Nobody sent anybody to do that.”
He said instead of trying to remove the governor through illegal means, the APC should wait for the next election in the state and attempt to get into power via the ballot.
“General Buhari won and election the PDP conceded. President Jonathan conceded defeat, the winner was congratulated. I believe people who won election nine months ago should also allow peace to reign in this state. They should wait for 2018 to try their luck again.”
Mr. Olayinka also alleged that the APC assembly members, shot and killed one Modupe Olaiya, a supporter of the governor at Efon Alaaye early Tuesday, on their way into the state from Oshogbo in Osun State, where they stayed.
He said armed thugs and police officers in the convoy of the assembly members attacked the people of the town and that the deceased was shot by a member of the House, Gabriel Ogundele, according to a witness’ accounts.
Though Mr Olayinka later sent pictures of the alleged victim to this reporter, PREMIUM TIMES could not independently confirm if he was actually shot by Mr. Ogundele as alleged by Mr. Olayinka
The Ekiti State Police Public Relation Officer, Adeyemi Alberto, did not answer his call neither did he respond to the text message sent to his mobile phone asking him to confirm if someone was indeed shot by the assembly member in Efon Alaaye.
The APC denied that its legislators were involved in any shooting incident that led to the loss of lives.
“Honestly I don’t like to respond to Lere’s comments or posts because I know him and I know what he could do. Honestly I don’t want to glorify Lere with any retort on his phantom post and his yellow journalism,” Taiwo Olatunbosun, spokesperson for the party in the state, told PREMIUM TIMES over the phone.
“All I’m saying is that if there is anybody that is supposed to maintain law and order it is the governor and the government of Ekiti because that is the primary function to protect the law of the land. But where they are the one orchestrating and instigating violence then there is the need for serious caution,”
Mr. Olatunbosun said those protecting on the street are not real Ekiti People but hired supporters of the governor with the aim of disrupting law and order in the state.
“They are not the original Ekiti people but people who belong to the governor’s party and they are paid to cause confusion in the state. The argument I give is this, if someone who is supposed to be the leader of the state and is supposed to maintain law and order is the one breaking it you can see by yourself that is like we are in a state of anomy.
“It is very obvious that he has failed in his responsibility to protect lives and properties of the people. Simply put, that will not in any way obstruct or distort the life of people performing their responsibility as elected officials of the people.”